Travel Advice

Health Tips and Information


Travel health tips to keep you safe during your holiday or business trip.

Motion sickness & how to deal with it

on 17 March 2021

 People who get seasick or airsick are experiencing motion sickness. Women and children are more prone to motion sickness, but it can affect anyone. You can take steps while traveling to reduce your risk of getting sick.

What causes motion sickness?
Your brain receives signals from motion-sensing parts of your body: your eyes, inner ears, muscles and joints. When these parts send conflicting information, your brain doesn’t know whether you’re stationary or moving. Your brain’s confused reaction makes you feel sick.
For example, when riding in a car, your:
Eyes see trees passing by and register movement.
Inner ears sense movement.
Muscles and joints sense that your body is sitting still.
Brain senses a disconnect among these messages.
Many actions can trigger motion sickness, such as:
Amusement park rides and virtual reality experiences.
Reading while in motion.
Riding in a boat, car, bus, train or plane.
Video games and movies.

What are the symptoms of motion sickness?
Travelers suffering from motion sickness commonly exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
Nausea
Vomiting/retching
Sweating
Cold sweats
Excessive salivation
Increased sensitivity to odors
Loss of appetite
Headache
Drowsiness
Warm sensation
General discomfort

How to avoid sea sickness?
There are some interventions to prevent motion sickness include the following:

Choose a position to reduce motion or motion perception—for example, driving a vehicle instead of riding in it, sitting in the front seat of a car or bus, sitting over the wing of an aircraft, holding the head firmly against the back of the seat, and choosing a window seat on flights and trains.

Lying prone, shutting eyes, sleeping, or looking at the horizon.
Maintaining hydration by drinking water, eating small meals frequently, and limiting alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.

Avoiding smoking—even short-term cessation reduces susceptibility to motion sickness.

Adding distractions—controlling breathing, listening to music, or using aromatherapy scents such as mint or lavender. Flavored lozenges may also help.

Using acupressure or magnets is advocated by some to prevent or treat nausea, although scientific data on efficacy of these interventions for preventing motion sickness are lacking.
Gradually exposing oneself to continuous or repeated motion sickness triggers. Most people, in time, notice a reduction in motion sickness symptoms.

Medications for seasickness

A type of medication called antihistamine is the most frequently used and widely available medications for motion sickness.
Also, a medications like the scopolamine patch can prevent nausea.
A pharmacist can help with motion sickness
You can buy remedies from pharmacies to prevent motion sickness, including:
tablets – dissolvable tablets are available for children
patches – can be used by adults and children over 10
acupressure bands – these do not work for everyone.

Adapted from: https://www.nhs.uk/ and https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

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