Motion sickness occurs from an imbalance between the inner ears and visual stimuli. The vestibular canals of the middle ear are designed to help up maintain physical balance during movement. The canals may sense movement, however, when the eyes are fixed upon a stationary location, the brain experiences confusion. Dizziness, nausea and vomiting then occur. While the ailment can affect anyone at any time, some people have greater risk factors. These individuals include:
• Children up to the age of 12
• Women who are menstruating, pregnant or taking hormone supplements
• Migraine sufferers
• Patients taking certain antibiotics, cardiovascular formulations, OTC or prescription NSAIDS, antidepressants or asthma preparations
People should not travel on an empty stomach believing that they will prevent symptoms. Instead, eat small low-fat meals in the hours leading up to travel. Motion sickness sufferers might also consider taking snacks to enjoy every few hours. Recent studies indicate that people consuming protein drinks fair much better than those choosing typical carbohydrate beverages.
Herbal or Medicinal Remedies
Ginger has been used for centuries as a treatment for nausea. A study performed in 2003 and available in the “American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology revealed that people taking ginger before embarking on amusement rides experienced fewer side effects compared to a group of untreated volunteers. Take 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of a ginger supplement at least an hour before the motion causing event.
Over the counter antihistamines Benadryl or Dramamine are also effective in providing relief from motion sickness. The medications work by interfering with the signals that travel to the brain and induce nausea and vomiting. Simply take the dose recommended by the package instructions at least one hour before travel.
Whether traveling by car or boat, being the vehicle operator guarantees motion sickness prevention. However, sitting in the front next to the driver and keeping the eyes looking forward is the next best option. Sitting backwards is generally ill-advised If traveling by plane, choose seats in the middle around the wing area. This region of the cabin typically experiences less movement compared to the front or the rear. Regardless of the method of travel, resist the urge to read. This act puts into play the mixed signals between the eyes and the middle ear.
A 1995 study investigating aeronautic travel explored the benefits of acupressure on motion sickness. The technique involves applying pressure approximately two inches from the wrist and between the tendons in the direction of the elbow. Hold the P6 point until the nausea or other symptoms subside. There are also wrist bands available approved by the FDA that work on the same principle. Some come equipped with a small electronic device that emits current to the designated region.