If you get queasy while riding or watching moving objects, you’re not alone! Motion sickness is a long-standing concern for many. In fact, it’s so common that one in three people may suffer from it—or almost everyone if exposed to intense motions.
Motion sickness is the feeling of discomfort triggered by certain kinds of repeated motions. Typically, traveling by car, bus, train, boat, or train, riding amusement park rides, skiing, being in virtual reality (VR) environments, or seeing motion on a screen can induce motion sickness.
Most medical professionals claim that motion sickness is when our body’s sensory systems are incongruent with one another. For instance, it happens when the eyes see one thing, the inner ears sense another, or the muscles feel something else.
Take a slow-moving cruise ship as an example. When riding it, the eyes may inform the brain that the ship isn’t moving at all. However, the vestibular (link between the inner ear and the brain) and somatosensory (responsible for bodily sensations) systems, which control balance and posture, say otherwise to the brain. These mixed signals confuse the brain and cause a variety of symptoms, resulting in motion sickness.
Motion sickness is a symptom complex (a group of symptoms) that’s usually characterized by a combination of any of the following:
- Pallor (pale appearance)
- Diaphoresis (excessive sweating due to underlying health conditions or medications)
- Inability to concentrate
- Belching (burping)
- Vague abdominal discomfort
- Hyperventilation (rapid breathing, usually in extreme cases)
As mentioned, almost every individual will likely be motion sick when exposed to intense motions. However, certain groups of people are more highly susceptible to motion sickness for reasons that aren’t yet known and fully understood by the medical community.
Research has shown that there’s a higher prevalence of motion sickness among:
- Asians than Europeans
- People suffering from migraine headaches (including vestibular migraine, a balance disorder)
- People with Parkinson’s disease
Women (particularly during menstruation or pregnancy)
- People taking hormonal birth control
- Children ages 2-12 years old
Motion sickness may also be genetic. While they haven’t discovered the specific genes involved in it and the clear pattern of inheritance, researchers found that it clusters in families. Specifically, those with first-degree relatives (parents or siblings) who tend to suffer from motion sickness are more highly susceptible to getting motion sickness themselves than the general public.
How to Beat Motion Sickness?
1. Medicate 30-60 Minutes Before Traveling
Over-the-counter antihistamines aren’t only for treating allergies but also for easing and even preventing the symptoms of motion sickness. They’re usually affordable but can still be bought at discounted prices, for example, through a Meclizine HCl Coupon.
For best results, take antihistamines 30-60 minutes before traveling. However, be warned that these drugs can cause drowsiness, yet they’re more effective than non-drowsy formulas. Alternatively, if you want to opt for a non-drowsy measure, another option is scopolamine skin patches. They’re stuck behind the ears at least four hours before traveling and reapplied after three days. They’re only approved for adults since they can cause dry mouth.
For children, always get medical advice about what motion sickness medicines to give them and the recommended dosage. They may require a test dose for the children before traveling. While they cause drowsiness in adults, they can have the opposite effect on some kids, causing them to be very active or sick. s a parent, you should always make sure to check pre-authorization drug resources to get informed on whatever drugs you want to use for motion sickness because, as mentioned, the same dosage or combination of drugs cannot have the same effect on adults and children. By getting knowledgeable you avoid any negative effects on yourself or your children. Remember to ask a healthcare professional before traveling, and don’t decide on your own.
3. Be the Driver or Sit in Front
Being behind the wheel will less likely cause motion sickness than being in the passenger seat. This is presumably because a driver’s brain uses its motor commands to control the car, which helps them predict the motion rather than getting confused by it.
However, if you aren’t yet licensed to drive or prefer to be the passenger, the front seat is the best position. Being able to look at the horizon confers a sense of greater control than being in the back.
If there are no other options but riding in the back of the car, engaging in conversations and other distractions like listening to music can help. Facing the direction where the car goes can also keep the queasiness at bay. Also, avoid reading and open a source of fresh air if possible.
4. Nibble on Easy-to-Digest Foods
Light foods and snacks, such as bread, cereal, grains, bananas, apples, or saltine crackers, may help ease nausea and abdominal discomfort. On the contrary, avoid heavy, fat-rich, or acidic foods. They take time to digest, causing your discomfort and sickness to get worse. More importantly, while it’s possible to eat, ensure to watch your consumption and avoid being full.
Many studies also recommend taking one to two grams of ginger half an hour before traveling as a preventive measure for motion sickness. It doesn’t hurt and is one of the alternatives for motion sickness medicines that can cause drowsiness. However, ginger increases the risk of bleeding, so consult your doctor first if you’re currently taking blood thinners.
5. Stay Hydrated
Another way to curb nausea is by sipping cold water or a carbonated drink, such as ginger ale and seltzer. Other good options can include fruit juices or milk. However, avoid drinks that can cause dehydration, such as certain sodas or coffee, since they can make nausea worse.
There are now simple and easy ways to conquer motion sickness. With the advancement of medical research, there are now quick science-backed ways for its immediate relief and prevention, potentially for good.
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