Motion sickness can be maddening because so many everyday activities can trigger it. It can turn a car trip into a nightmare and make you want to jump off a boat. While we can’t guarantee you’ll have no more nausea, these top tips on how to avoid motion sickness can keep you on board.
What Is Motion Sickness?
You can blame your inner ear for this one. The nervous system—including the inner ear, body surface tissues, and eyes—is what senses movement. When you’re moving intentionally, your nervous system understands. But when your body senses movement and your nervous system gets confused, you can feel sick. For instance, if you’re a passenger in a car reading a book, your inner ear can feel motion, but your eyes are in denial because you’re looking at a fixed object. These contradictory messages can mix up your body enough to induce nausea.
What Are Common Causes?
Here’s the fun part. There are so many causes! Some people are so sensitive that they can’t handle shaky camera work in movies; their eyes tell them they’re moving, but their inner ears don’t feel it. When The Blair Witch Project came out, many filmgoers had to walk out. A few other causes include:
- Amusement park rides
- 3D movies
- Boats (seasickness is the same as motion sickness)
How Can You Treat It?
Some of the top tips on how to avoid motion sickness make sense now that you know what’s happening. When you start to feel sick, try to:
Look At the Horizon
On a boat or car, this can help re-orient your inner sense of balance.
Take a Nap
Closing your eyes can shut down the conflict with your inner ear.
Gum or snacks seems to appease the inner balance.
Avoid Strong Odors
Strong smells can significantly worsen any sick feelings. Steer clear of smells and spicy or greasy foods before any activity that might trigger motion sickness. If it’s too late for that, getting fresh air can help.
What Medications Help?
Of course, you have to know that you tend toward motion sickness before you can treat it, and some medications require you to take them a couple of hours before travel. Check to make sure they’re safe if you’re giving them to a child. And read the label so that you’re ready for any side effects, such as drowsiness and dry mouth. You can try:
- Dimenhydrinate (Dramamine)
- Meclizine (Bonine)