Does motion sickness interfere with your passion for travelling? Read on about ways by which you can cope with it.
To the casual observer, motion sickness may seem like a minor problem. However, for the people affected by it and their families, the simple act of travelling
a short distance can be an inconvenientâ€”even cripplingâ€”experience. With
adequate safeguards however, it is possible to prevent the symptoms of
What is motion sickness?
Motion sickness, or kinotesis, is a medical condition in which the sufferer's inner ear is affected by exposure to the stimulus of motion. The affected person may display one or more of the following symptoms while travelling in a moving vehicle:
Motion sickness is quite common. Around one-third of the world's population experiences these symptoms during routine travelling, and many more are affected in more severe circumstances.
How is motion sickness caused?
Motion sickness is usually caused by the difference
between the perceptions of movement experienced by a person through the
different senses. Usually, the brain experiences the sense of motion through the different signals coming from sense organs of the nervous system such as the inner ear, the eyes, and deeper tissues called proprioceptors.
When a person walks or runs, the brain
easily coordinates the different signals that signify movement.
However, in case of unintentional movement, such as driving in a
vehicle, the brain
is unable to effectively coordinate conflicting inputs from the
different senses. Motion sickness is believed to be the result of this
Research has proven that the presence of the inner ear is important for
motion sickness to occur. Blind people also experience motion sickness,
which suggests that the visual sense is not essential for motion
sickness to occur. Motion sickness is more common in complex forms of
movement involving different directions of motion, such as vertical and
Actual motion is not necessary for motion sickness to occur. Simulated
movement, for example a film clip depicting movement, can also cause
motion sickness. The eyes of a person watching a film perceive movement
and send corresponding signals to the brain.
However, since the person is stationary, the inner ear does not sense
movement. This leads to the conflict between the signals received by the brain and causes motion sickness.
How can you cope with motion sickness?
Here are some ways to prevent motion sickness:
Determine the circumstances in which your motion sickness occurs and
try to avoid them. For example, some people experience motion sickness
only in certain modes of transport, such as a boat. Others are affected while travelling on winding roads.
As far as possible, break up your journey to reduce the duration of time you spend in the vehicle at a stretch.
Always try to balance the sense of motion experienced
by your body with the visual sense of movement. Opt for a window seat
if you can, and focus on the scenery closer to the horizon. Move to the
deck while travelling by boat.
by car or bus, opt for the front seats. In a plane, try to book seats
near the wing, as this part normally experiences the least movement.
Try to sit facing the direction the vehicle is moving in, rather than sideways or with your back towards it.
Eat moderately during your journey. Avoid eating rich, spicy,
or greasy food during, or just before, your travel. According to a
study, foods with high-protein content are helpful in reducing travel
Drink an adequate amount of liquids.
Some people believe smelling a fresh lemon, or something equally invigorating, helps to control nausea.
Consult your doctor about medicines that you can take before travelling to prevent motion sickness.
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Do you suffer from motion sickness? What causes the symptoms to occur? What steps do you take to prevent motion sickness?
Does everyone suffer from motion sickness? I have two children. While the elder one gets sick when we travel, the younger one is perfectly fine. How is this possible? Am I doing something different?...
good article. i have been suffering from motion sickness since childhood. i am now 33 and still suffer sometimes, esp. if the road is v. winding. but i have experienced that when my stomach is average...
Hello. You have not mentioned how old your daughter is and if she has any other health problems. Why not ask your family doctor if pills are necessary? He will know best what pills to describe. Please...