Tips to stop motion sickness before it starts

Tips to stop motion sickness before it starts

You’re on the move. Feeling dizzy? Fatigued? Nauseous?

Motion sickness is a common problem that can make even the simple task of riding in a car, train, plane or boat a stressful event.

There are several parts of the body that combine to let the brain know that your body is moving. When one part of the balance-sensing system – comprised of your eyes, inner ear and sensory nerves – detects movement, but the others do not, motion sickness can occur, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Anticipating symptoms and taking measures to prevent them is much more effective than trying to resolve symptoms that are already occurring,” says Jean-Marie Tyner, an advanced practice nurse and certified nurse practitioner with Advocate Medical Group in Lexington, Ill. “Once symptoms start, it may be hard to feel better until the movement stops.”

Tyner suggests these tips for preventing motion sickness:

  • Focus on an “earth-fixed” environment rather than a “head-fixed” environment. “Viewing the horizon or land masses from the deck of a ship or from the front seat of a car, for example, can reduce or prevent symptoms,” she says.
  • Medications, if used, should be taken before symptoms occur, since they are less effective in relieving symptoms that have already developed.
  • Antihistamines can be useful, but the newer, non-drowsy ones are typically less effective.

These tips from the CDC may also help travelers avoid motion sickness:

  • When traveling, sit near the front of the vehicle by a window and focus on the horizon.
  • Try to move your head as little as possible by resting it on a headrest. Head movement can increase motion sickness.
  • If on a boat, try to get fresh air while looking at a fixed point on the horizon.
  • Avoid eating or drinking during short trips to reduce nausea and vomiting.
  • Do not drink alcohol or eat a heavy meal before traveling.

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  1. Perhaps its just me and my experience; but, after reading about it – I find it definitely successful…

    Before going out to sea or other motion sickness inducing activity (perhaps at least an hour before), take several GINGER supplement capsules. Ginger is known to calm the stomach…but it appears with that to fix any nausea induced by what would otherwise be motion sickness. All times I’ve done this, I’ve not had an episode.

    Again: It’s a small sample size of me. But perhaps the writers here can do further review and get back to all readers on this. Most interesting would be whether RAW ginger (now found in grocery stores) would do the same thing — and far more cheaply. I would assume it does. I just haven’t had a chance to try it…

  2. Ginger does help. I have motion sickness with video games

  3. Try Sea Bands.
    What is a sea band? Sea-Band is a knitted elasticated wrist band, which operates by applying pressure on the Nei Kuan acupressure point on each wrist by means of a plastic stud.
    These have worked wonders for me! I would get severely motion sick while on boat rides and would always need to take Dramamine or something orally prior to riding. Now, I’m able to just put my bands on and go. Works every time – no further episodes of motion sickness.

    They are indicated for prevention of nausea & vomiting in travel, pregnancy, post-operative, chemotherapy and other conditions, which induce nausea. The cost is under $10 at your local pharmacy.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.