How To Deal with Motion Sickness During Travel

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Dealing with Feeling Sick during Travel

Have you ever felt sick, dizzy, or uncomfortable while riding in a car, plane, or boat? That’s called motion sickness and it is a common problem for many people when they are on the move. It affected me growing up on the winding roads of West Virginia and there is always one of our children that insists on looking at their electronic device while riding and ends up sick. Understanding why it happens and learning some simple ways to cope with it can make your trips much more enjoyable.

Motion sickness happens when what you see with your eyes doesn’t match up with what your inner ear detects. This can confuse your brain and cause symptoms like feeling queasy, throwing up, getting dizzy, sweating, and feeling tired. Motion sickness can be a problem if you travel a lot or do activities that involve moving around, like reading or using electronics while in a moving vehicle.  It is thought to come from a combination of things like conflicts in your senses, sensitivity in your inner ear and how your brain responds to the movement you feel. Some people are more likely to get motion sickness because of how their bodies work.  I attempted to explain it to my kids and ended up just telling them their eyes see one thing and their brain feels another and this may make them sick.  Put the electronics down, crack a window and look forward.  To help make motion sickness feel better here are more tips.

  1. Sit in a seat where you feel less movement. In a car, sitting in the front or the middle seat in the back can give you a smoother ride. In a plane, sitting near the wings can help since there is less shaking. On a boat, stay in the middle or look at the horizon to keep your eyes on something steady.
  1. Focusing on a fixed point on the horizon can help your brain adjust to the movement and reduce the mixed signals that cause motion sickness. Try not to stare at things inside the vehicle or do activities that make you look at things up close for too long, like reading or playing games on your phone/tablet.
  1. Opening a window or using air vents to get more fresh air can make you feel better when you have motion sickness. Fresh air and good airflow can give you a sense of relief and reduce nausea.
  1. Try not to move your head or body too much while you’re traveling. Keeping your head and body as steady as possible can help reduce the signals that make you feel sick. Avoid sudden movements and try to stay in a comfortable position.
  1. Staying hydrated by drinking water before and during your trip is important, but don’t eat big or heavy meals right before traveling. Being dehydrated or having a full stomach can make motion sickness worse.
  1. Some over-the-counter medicines like Dramamine or natural remedies like ginger-based products, can help some people feel better. It’s a good idea to talk to a doctor or pharmacist to find out what might work for you. Dramamine is our most used product with the kids, and we usually give it as a precaution to the ones more prone to motion sickness.

Remember, motion sickness can affect people differently, and what works for one person might not work for another. If you often have motion sickness and it bothers you a lot or makes it hard to travel, it’s a good idea to talk to a doctor who can give you personalized advice and maybe suggest other treatments.

— This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC, one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.










Have you been in a car accident? If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group  to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.

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