Travel Sickness (Motion Sickness)

What is travel sickness?

Whether you travel for business or pleasure, suffering from motion sickness is an unpleasant experience. Travel sickness can occur in just about any mode of travel, such as cars, planes, boats, buses, cruise ships or by animal.

What causes travel sickness?

Travel sickness in any form is usually caused by confusing messages received by the brain. Even though our eyes see very little motion, the inner ear detects the vehicle's movement. The brain receives two types of conflicting messages from the eyes and equilibrium (inner ear). This confuses the brain and it sends conflicting messages to other organs, which in turn cause you to feel uncontrollably ill.

What are the symptoms of travel sickness?

Symptoms may include:

  • Sweating, excessive salivation, pale skin.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Drowsiness and weakness.
  • Headache.
  • Depression.
  • General feeling of discomfort.

What signs should I look out for?

Early indicators of an oncoming bout of nausea are:

  • Headaches.
  • Unexplainable quietness.
  • Feeling removed and confused.
  • A dry and funny tasting mouth.
  • These feelings are followed by uncontrollable rushes of vomiting and an overall sick feeling.

How is travel sickness treated?

The best way to treat travel sickness is to actually prevent the symptoms from occurring in the first place. Over the counter medications can help, when taken prior to the journey. Ask you pharmacist about what is available.

What can I do to prevent travel sickness?

  • When travelling by car, sit in the front seat rather than in the back.
  • Avoid reading.
  • Look forward, or out a window, keeping the eyes fixed on the horizon.
  • When travelling by plane, request seats in the most stable part of the aeroplane, which is over the wing.
  • Apply cool packs of ice to the eyes and neck.
  • Avoid spicy or greasy food.

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