Feeling Green? How to Prevent and Treat Motion Sickness So You Can Enjoy Your Next Trip

By Lindsey Johnson

Seasick. Airsick. Carsick. You’ve heard them all. Is this a real thing or are they faking?

Motion sickness is what happens when the brain can’t process all the information coming from the various senses through the eyes, ears and body. Motion sickness
can feel like queasiness, nausea, clamminess, sweating and vomiting. While the feeling of unease can last several hours, it typically resolves shortly after motion ceases. Any type of movement can cause motion sickness: riding in a car, on a boat, in a plane, even amusement rides, video games and movies.

Motion sickness is common and can happen to anyone. While nearly one-third of people experience motion sickness at some point, there are certain people who may be more likely to suffer than others. Women and children ages 2-12, those with inner ear disorders, women taking hormonal birth control, menstrual periods, pregnancy, migraines, Parkinson’s Disease and those with a family history of motion sickness are most likely to experience the ill effects.

How Can I Prevent Motion Sickness?

If you are susceptible to motion sickness, there are a few tips and tricks to help prevent symptoms. Some antihistamines, typically used for allergy relief, may be effective in preventing motion sickness symptoms. However, the non-drowsy formulations will not work for this cause. Scopolamine patches can be applied behind the ears approximately four hours prior to travel and will last up to three days. Wearing acupressure bands is a drug-free option to prevent motion sickness.

When traveling, there are certain things you can do to minimize the chances of feeling sick. Put the book down and look out the window towards the horizon or recline and close your eyes. Direct cool air vents to blow on you or get fresh air by rolling down the windows. Eat a bland diet while traveling to minimize stomach discomfort and consume plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and smoking during travel times. To prevent or help minimize symptoms, breathe in ginger, peppermint or lavender scents or suck on ginger or peppermint candies.

Take a Seat!

There are also certain spots to sit that will also help reduce the likelihood of getting sick.

CAR: Sit in the front seat.

BUS: Choose a window seat.

PLANE: Sit in the section over the wing.

BOAT: Sit in the middle of the boat on the upper deck.

CRUISE SHIP: Pick a cabin towards the front or the middle of the ship and on one of the lower levels.

TRAIN: Choose a forward-facing window seat.

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