If you are like me, then you are the worst traveling companion. Now, I’m sure you are wondering why?
Two words… Motion Sickness.
Do you ever feel sick or nauseous only after minutes of reading a book or looking at your phone while in a car, train or plane?
There is a reason for it. During that time your inner ear tells your brain that you’re moving and your eyes tell your brain that you’re sitting in your seat. Your brain gets confused, and you feel sick.
On flights, I was useless and not productive. I couldn’t read or do work on my laptop. It’s worse during takeoff, landing, or if there is turbulence. I didn’t want to engage in conversations because I got tired easily and just wanted to shut my eyes. I wish I can say that a flight to a destination is just a book read away.
During car rides, I also couldn’t read or even look at my phone. Again, I just wanted to sleep. And windy roads, I get anxious just thinking about it. I thought… so much for spontaneous road trips.
Someone mentions a boat ride, and I immediately think of how miserable I could get.
Now you see why I am not an enjoyable travel companion. But, WAIT A MINUTE.
I’ve dealt with this my whole life and learned to live with it because I love traveling. I’ve learned to cope with it, and I’ve been able to reduce my symptoms to a bare minimum.
In this definitive guide to motion sickness, you’ll learn everything you need to know from the symptoms and the different treatments.
What is Motion Sickness?
According to WebMD, it is a feeling of uneasiness where there is a disturbance of the inner ear caused by repeated motion. People refer to it as car sickness or sea sickness.
What causes Motion Sickness?
Like I mentioned earlier, there is an imbalance between the sensory parts of your body (eyes, ears) and the rest of your body. The brain receives signals from equilibrium receptors in a portion of the inner ear (vestibular system) that don’t match with visual signals from the eyes.
Motion Sickness Symptoms
Motion sickness does not just present as nausea and dizziness. This is often overlooked. Other important symptoms include:
- Epigastric discomfort
- Cold sweat
- Dry mouth
- Feeling of eye strain
Motion Sickness Treatment
The treatment approach to motion sickness may be alleviated by prescribed or over-the-counter medications, natural remedies or behavioral measures.
What you choose to is up to you and can be individualized meaning if it works for you doesn’t mean it will certainly work for another person. You have to take into account your age, sensitivity to medication, and the intensity of symptoms. Please consult with a doctor first before taking any medicine for motion sickness.
A popular prescription medication that works for up to 72 hours is called scopolamine, known as the motion sickness patch. You place the small circular scopolamine patch behind your ear at least 4 hours before needed.
If you suffer from severe motion sickness and a high level of functioning is not required, your doctor might recommend promethazine. You can take it orally, or it can be given as an intramuscular injection. It is very effective for nausea and vomiting.
Motion Sickness Pills (Antihistamines)
- Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine): This over-the-counter antihistamine should be taken about an hour before traveling. It can be taken every 4 to 6 hours. There is Dramamine for kids and a non-drowsy naturals Dramamine (basically ginger capsules).
- Meclizine (Bonine): Another common antihistamine that should be taken about an hour before traveling. It is also used to reduce vertigo. This is my choice because I have fewer side effects and it works better.
Even though you don’t need a prescription, you should always consult with your doctor first before taking any medication. All the medications listed above have side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth.
Natural Motion Sickness Remedies (Non-Drowsy)
If you prefer non-medicated options, then this section is for you:
- Try ginger. A ginger supplement combined with ginger snaps, ginger ale or candied ginger might help curb nausea. You can eat an actual ginger root. Personally, I’ve never tried it. There are ginger chews, candy, and tea that taste amazing. Here are a few products that are always in my carry on:
Try essential oils. Here’s a list of the best for symptoms of motion sickness:
- Try another natural alternative. Hyland’s Motion Sickness Relief Tablets for treating motion sickness.
A few products that are ALWAYS in my travel bag Hyland’s Motion Sickness tabs, DigestZen essential oil digestive blend by doTERRA, and Ginger People super strength gin gins and rescue tablets. These products have helped me tremendously throughout the years of traveling.
There are many different brands out there that help with motion sickness. I know there are skeptics out there. So, what does it do? Does it work? Acupressure bands help relieve nausea and vomiting associated with motion and other conditions.
You wear the nausea band around your wrist. It works by exerting pressure that stimulates the point PC-6 (or Nei-Kuan). It is definitely an acupuncture point to remember. PC-6 is easily found between the tendons three finger breadths below the wrist on the inner forearm.
Depending on your budget, motion sickness bands can range from $6 to $95. A few favorites on Amazon are the Sea-Band wristband, Travel Eze wristband, and Reliefband. The Reliefband is a little different and more pricey because it uses neuromodulation to stimulate the nervous system with electrical impulses.
All of these are great options for individuals who don’t like taking medication because there are no side effects!
There are many options to choose from so fear traveling no more! The last thing you want is dizziness and nausea from motion to ruin your trip. Hopefully, this definitive guide to motion sickness has given you some answers.
Is there something I left out? Do you have any additional tips? I am always looking for more great ideas!