No matter how many great tips for better road trips you will come across on the internet, if you suffer from motion sickness you know the great power it has to ruin your travel plans. It can result in a feeling of dizziness or fatigue, mild or painful headaches, and feeling sick to your stomach, leaving you unable to do anything you want. The great news is, you don’t have to let motion sickness destroy your travel agenda anymore. There is a number of things you can do to minimize and even prevent this condition.
What Causes Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness occurs when the information your eyes, ears and body send to your brain doesn’t make sense. For example, when riding in a car your eyes see things passing by and register movement; your inner ears also sense movement. However, your muscles and joints sense that your body is sitting still. Your brain senses a disconnect among these messages and that is why you end up feeling dizzy and sick.
How to Avoid Motion Sickness?
One of the most effective ways to prevent motion sickness is taking travel sickness medicines. Antihistamines and anticholinergic drugs are the most common types of medication used for this problem. Common antihistamines include Dramamine, Antivert, Promethegan and Benadryl. These travel sickness medications are available to buy in the forms of pills or suppositories. Potential side effects of antihistamines include drowsiness, dry mouth and blurred vision, but most find these drugs to effectively manage their condition.
You can find both prescription and over-the-counter antihistamines to treat motions sickness. The sedative effects of antihistamines are what makes them an effective treatment. Non-drowsy antihistamines such as Zofran, Zyrtec and Allegra may not be as effective at reducing motion sickness symptoms.
Anticholinergics work by blocking acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes involuntary bodily functions, including salivation and digestion. The most common anticholinergic used for motion sickness treatment is the scopolamine patch that you place behind your ear at least four hours before travelling and can leave on for up to three days. It helps reduce nausea, vomiting and other symptoms. Common side effects of scopolamine include drowsiness, dry mouth and blurred vision.
When it comes to what is the best medication for travel sickness, this will depend on the individual. What works well for some people may not be as helpful for others. Make sure to discuss all treatment options with your doctor so you can explore what’s best for you based on personal medical advice.
Here are some other things you can do to deal with this problem.
Try to Choose a Seat Where You’ll Experience the Least Motion
Sit in the front seat of a car. The middle of an aeroplane over the wing is the calmest area. On a ship, the lower level cabins near the centre of the ship may help you experience less motion than the higher or outer cabins.
Let Your Eyes See the Movement
When motion sickness hits, probably the first thing you do is close your eyes and lie down. However, experts recommend doing the opposite. According to them, the secret to recovering from motion sickness within minutes is to look toward the movement that is happening. Doing so will reorient your inner ear. When travelling by car, look at the road ahead; if travelling by boat, stand on a deck and look at the water or the horizon in the direction the ship is moving. On a plane, staring out a window and seeing the clouds can help alleviate symptoms.
Try Natural Essential Oils
Natural essential oils have natural medicinal properties that help relieve your body of a number of ailments. One of these is nausea and upset stomach. Not only they relieve the feeling of nausea, but they also relax your body and mind. The antimicrobial properties of essential oils also help eliminate microbial infection that can induce nausea. Since their natural, essential oils don’t have any serious side effects like some prescribed travel sickness medications
When shopping for natural essential oils, some options to consider to alleviate motion sickness include ginger, peppermint and chamomile. Commonly used in cooking, ginger has also been used to treat ailments for almost 5 centuries. As an essential oil, it can be used for nausea, vomiting, digestion and motion sickness.
Peppermint is commonly used in tea to help relieve digestive issues. But when something a little stronger is required, peppermint oil is the solution. Thanks to its antispasmodic and antiemetic properties, peppermint essential oil can reduce symptoms of nausea, vomiting and motion sickness as well as increase digestion.
Chamomile is another plant used in the form of tea, however, in the form of essential oil, chamomile benefits can go a long way. It can help reduce symptoms of motion sickness as well as a range of other ailments.
When it comes to using these goodies, you can purchase a portable diffuser for your car – it’s a great way to ease car sickness before it can get worse. Add a single drop of essential oil to the diffuser to start with. If it feels too strong, open a window to allow fresh air to circulate. If this doesn’t relieve nausea, add a second drop to enhance the effect.
You can also add a couple of drops to a cotton ball and carry it with you. When you feel sickness coming on, take out the cotton ball and inhale deeply.