Motion Sickness is a common problem in people travelling by car, plane, train and especially boats. It occurs when an incongruity arises between visually perceived movement and the vestibular system’s sense of physical movement. The vestibular system is the sensory system that provides sense of equilibrium and spatial orientation for coordinating movement with balance. A mismatch in the sensory signals from your organs during motion leads to Motion Sickness. It’s usually caused by a discrepancy between what your eye perceives and what your cochlea senses. For example, if you’re using your phone while travelling, your eyes are focused on an immobile object while your inner ear is sensing motion.
Some people are more prone to experiencing motion sickness as compared to others. Women, especially when they are pregnant, kids from ages 2-12 and people on some type of medication are more susceptible to this.
Nausea and vomiting are the two most common symptoms associated with motion sickness. However, other symptoms include headaches, pain and cold sweats. It might also cause your skin to turn pale and instill a feeling of lethargy.
Here are some ways to reduce motion sickness
Take control of the vehicle
If you’re a passenger, taking the wheel might be a good way to get rid of it. When you’re driving the coordination between your ear and eyes will improve and the symptoms might reduce.
Keep your eyes on the road
Another tactic to help with visual stimuli is focusing on a distant object. The exact reason is not known, but according to people, it helps.
Open a window
Stop the car and go out to get some fresh air to help with the nausea. Travel with mini breaks through out the journey to help cope with motion sickness better.
Eating a light snack like salt crackers can help with the nausea. Foods that are greasy may induce acidity or heart burn and make your sickness worse. Avoid eating a heavy meal before the trip. However, make sure that you have something in your stomach. An empty stomach can also induce symptoms of motion sickness.
Drink water or carbonated drinks
Drinking fizzy drinks or water will help in reducing nausea. Try to take as many fluids as you can to prevent dehydration which might make the symptoms worse.
Distracting yourself is another effective tactic to counter the effects of motion sickness. Strike up a conversation with a friend or listen to music. Researchers show that music can be an effective remedy and can greatly help with the nausea.
Don’t use mobile phones
Avoid using phones to prevent motion sickness. Staring at a stationary object might cause a mismatch between your visual and cochlear senses- which might be perceiving the movement of the vehicle, and cause vomiting or nausea. Consider switching to audio-books if you’re reading a book or radio if you’re listening to music.
Chamomile tea is a herb that soothes the stomach by reducing acids and relaxing its muscles. Consider taking it before going on the trip or storing it in a travel mug for the journey.
An acupressure point along your wrist called the nei-kuan might be a quick solution. Place the index, middle and ring fingers on the inside of your wrist and apply firm pressure on either wrists for about 5 seconds.