Tips for Reducing Motion Sickness Symptoms

motion sickness symptoms

Do you suffer from motion sickness? Here are some tips to help you feel better on the move!

Although doctors consider motion sickness to be a minor nuisance, people who suffer from motion sickness symptoms will tell you that it is a major problem.  Severe nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness and eye pain can seriously dampen a person’s quality of life.  They miss out on fun activities like off-roading in an ATV or enjoying amusement park rides.  They may avoid leaving home in order to avoid getting motion sick.

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People who become motion sick in one vehicle will be prone to getting motion sick in all other vehicles, regardless if they ever traveled in that vehicle before.  Fortunately, there are many things a person can do to relieve motion sickness.

Take OTC Medications

There are many safe over the counter (OTC) medications for preventing motion sickness.  The most common ingredients are dimenhydrinate, scopolamine, promethazine and meclizine.  The key to using these medications effectively is that you need to take them long before getting into a moving vehicle.  Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations as to when to take the medications, which can vary from 2 hours to 20 minutes before traveling.

It is normal to experience some side effects from OTC motion sickness medications.  These include dry mouth, blurred vision and drowsiness.  These aren’t so bad for passengers but can be downright dangerous for people operating vehicles. If unsure how an OTC medication will affect you, test the medication by taking it when relaxing at home and noting if anything happens.

Take Herbs and Certain Foods

These remedies can be taken as soon as symptoms begin.  The two most common herbs to relieve nausea are ginger and peppermint.  Do not down ground ginger from your spice cabinet.  Instead, eat candied ginger or ginger snaps.  There are also many ginger-flavored drinks, including ginger beer and ginger tea.  Never consumer ginger if on blood-thinning medications because it could make a person bleed excessively if they are wounded.

Peppermint is another herb known to reduce nausea and headaches.  Although many people find relief from peppermint-flavored candies, it is best to use the herb itself in the form of peppermint tea or tablets.  Always talk to your doctor before taking peppermint, as it can interact badly with some medications.

Before Travelling

People who are prone to motion sickness should avoid eating a large, fatty meal before traveling.  This food is difficult to digest in the most relaxed of circumstances and will make a person more likely to vomit than if he or she ate a light meal and small snacks 24 hours before traveling.

Tips When Travelling

If in a car, bus or boat, keep the eyes as still as possible.  Instead of trying to look at everything outside of your window, focus on one spot on the horizon.  Some passengers get relief by closing their eyes if symptoms begin but this does not work for everyone.  Sit near the front of the vehicle, which usually is more still than the back.  The front is often free of strong odors like gasoline that can quickly make someone queasy.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, people who are prone to motion sickness that take long, deep breaths when traveling experience less severe symptoms than people breathing quickly.  Pain can make people pant, but taking deep breaths helps to relax the body.

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