How to get rid of travel sickness?

Motion sickness is common among people all over the world. Its symptoms include nausea, dizziness & vomiting. It mostly occurs when brain receives conflicting signals about the body movement & balance. As a result, the brain finds it hard to track the body's position & this creates the symptoms of nausea and dizziness. The sense of balance is maintained by a complex interaction between the inner ear, the eyes & receptors on the skin & in muscles & joints.

When you travel, the messages sent to the brain from these different areas don't always match. During turbulence on an aircraft, your view out of the window or directly in front of you might stay the same so you appear to be stationary, but your inner ear detects you're moving around because your body is swaying from side to side. This results in the brain getting a jumble of information & in some people this produces the symptoms of motion sickness.

Women are more likely to be affected, especially if they are pregnant, possibly because changes in hormone levels increase susceptibility. The condition is also more common in children aged between 3 to 12 years, possibly because their vestibular system has yet to mature. Medication is one way of dealing with the problem, either in the form of anti-sickness tablets or antihistamines. These work by blocking the confusing nerve signals from the vestibular system in the inner ear.

Antihistamines work by improving blood flow in the inner ear to block the faulty messages. If you are a frequent traveler & don't want to rely on pills, traditional remedies such as ginger can help. Ginger increases gastric emptying, the movement of food into the small intestine that means you are less likely to be sick. Deep breathing can also help control motion sickness. The key is keeping your movement to a minimum to avoid conflicting signals to the brain.

Another trick that can be used to get rid of motion sickness is to keep your eyes closed as much as possible. In that way, there is no visual information coming to the brain, so it can't conflict with the information from the inner ears. Some of useful thins that should help you to prevent from motion sickness are explained below.

• Keep motion to a minimum by sitting in the front of a car, over the wing of a plane, in the middle of a boat or at the front of a train.

• Don't look at moving objects such as waves or the cars in front. Instead, close your eyes or fix on something straight, such as the horizon if you're on a boat.

• Wear sunglasses to reduce visual input from your eyes.

• Avoid tea, coffee, cigarettes & alcohol, as these stimulate the part of the brain that causes nausea. Avoid big meals & spicy, fatty foods, which can stimulate the brain's vomiting centre.

• Try distracting your brain by listening to music while focusing on your breathing or carrying out a mental activity, such as counting backwards from 100.


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