Motion sickness is more common than you may think. The feeling of nausea and vomiting that one gets while in a moving vehicle – on road, in the air, or at sea – or the spells of dizziness that take you by surprise, are all signs of travel sickness. Read on to know how to identify motion sickness and handle it better. By Anushka Goel
What is motion sickness and why does it occur?
The feeling of nausea, dizziness, vomiting or ringing sound in the ears that you get while sitting in a moving vehicle is known as motion sickness. Anyone can develop such travel sickness, but it is said to be more common in women and children (since kids love to watch movies or play games in the car, or enjoy unhealthy snacks).
According to WebMd, motion sickness occurs when conflict arises among your senses. Say, you’re gazing at the trees passing by while you’re travelling in the forward direction, or on a ride at the fair that’s spinning round and upside down. Your eyes see one thing and your muscles feel something else, while the signals your inner ear receives are completely different. This conflict sends mixed signals to your brain, making you feel dizzy and causing travel sickness.
What are the symptoms of travel sickness?
If you’re in a moving vehicle, these are the symptoms you can look out for to identify whether or not you are suffering from car sickness:
- nausea or dizziness
- shortness of breath
What can cause motion sickness?
Travel sickness can be caused by a lot of things. Some common factors that can trigger motion sickness are:
- Reading in a moving vehicle
- Eating a heavy meal or oily, fatty food before travelling
- Not getting enough air in the car
- Sitting on the back seat
How to manage symptoms when travelling
Managing the symptoms that lead to travel sickness is actually quite easy. You just need to take care of a few things while moving in the vehicle. These include:
- Chewing: It keeps the muscles engaged and is said to significantly reduce symptoms such as nausea and dizziness. This is probably why so many people chew gum on an airplane or in cars!
- Looking at the horizon: Watching the trees pass by can make you feel dizzy, so a great opportunity to combat such motion sickness is to look at the horizon. This will help avoid visual disturbances and keep the sick feeling at bay.
- Sleeping/keeping your eyes closed in cars: This helps avoid visual changes, effectively removing one of the many signals that our brain receives, eventually triggering motion sickness.
- Turn the windows down: Often, getting fresh air can instantly help you feel better and relieve you of your symptoms of motion sickness.
- Choose the right seat: If you suffer from sickness when you travel, the ideal spot for you to sit in is the passenger’s seat in a car, or the middle of a boat, where you are the least prone to feel movement.
Remedies for motion sickness
There are various treatments and remedies, ranging from medication to natural methods. Some remedies for car sickness include drinking ginger ale, chewing on some mint leaves, drinking water, or opting for medicine for motion sickness recommended by a doctor or health practitioner in case natural remedies do not work out for you.
Hero and Featured Image: Courtesy of Shutterstock