Motion sickness Very common in children aged 3 to 12 years, as well as in women, travel sickness often results in headaches, dizziness, nausea, cold sweats, and vomiting. Where do these troubles come from and how to stop them?
Why are people suffering from motion sickness?
To be in space, the human being uses three main sources of information coming from:
- Eyes: thanks to the vision of the skyline that indicates the positioning of the skull in space
- Inner ear: it perceives the movement of the body through “small balls” (otoliths) that role according to the movements of the head
- Muscles: the receptors that furrow them bring a perception of the body in space
These informative flows are transmitted to the brain that uses them to determine the position of the body in relation to space. If they seem contradictory, the organization is no longer able to provide a clear judgment on reality. It is, therefore, the provision of inconsistent and contradictory information that the brain cannot decipher and use that causes motion sickness, also called motion sickness or kinetics.Here is an example of the causes of motion sickness: imagine that you were in a rolling car and reading a book. Your muscles feel that you are motionless in your seat. Your eyes roam the book which is also motionless but they also capture, on the outskirts of their field of vision, the landscape that runs around you. In addition, the inner ear senses that you are moving because of decelerations, accelerations, sways, and turns. As a result, this contradictory information reaches the brain, which can not interpret it and which then triggers symptoms (feeling sick, headache, pallor, dizziness, nausea) forming motion sickness. We invite you to continue reading The Nine Keys To Travel Alone
Like any motion sickness, seasickness is caused by the discordance between the different information your body perceives, especially between what your eye sees and what your balance center transmits to your brain. It affects about 25% to 35% of people who travel by boat. The symptoms are identical to those of other transport aids such as a strong urge to vomit, slugging in the ears or head and itchy eyes. This discomfort usually disappears after two or three days.
Below, some precautions to combat seasickness:
- Do not panic and try to keep calm. Indeed, anxiety is a breeding ground for motion sickness.
- Sleep as well as you can the day before you leave and eat lightly while avoiding tobacco and alcohol. Do not wait to get hungry or thirsty to go nibble or drink something, because of hypoglycemia and dehydration cause vertigo, gateway to seasickness.
- Dress according to the weather so you do not suffer from heat or cold. Remember to take extra wool to ward off the cold offshore wind.
- During the trip, sit in a well-ventilated area and in the middle of the boat to enjoy maximum stability. Do not climb to the top of the ship, as the range of motion is more noticeable. Flee the holds due to the smell of fuel oil and containment. Avoid following the wake of the ship or its movements and all activities that appeal to your eyes such as reading or video games.
- If you have to eat during the crossing, prefer starchy foods and avoid fat. For the drink, opt for a cola soda. Serve it several minutes before drinking to allow a maximum of gas to evaporate.
- If you feel the first signs of discomfort, go get some fresh air on the deck and focus on the horizon or the shore. Choose a deck chair and turn in the direction of the boat. With your head firmly in a pillow, your vision will quickly re-synchronize with your balance and the feelings of discomfort will gradually disappear.
Air sickness This motion sickness affects between 0.5% and 10% of individuals on long and medium haul flights. Half of the pilot students are sensitive during their training. It is the pressurization of the cabin that is the main cause. Indeed, the air pressure in the aircraft is lower than that on the ground and the air is also drier.
Stress is also an important factor in triggering air sickness, the main symptoms of which are bloating, headache, nausea, feeling of heaviness in the legs, hearing problems and dry eye.
Here are some tips to protect yourself:
- Avoid being tired before the trip by trying to sleep well the night before departure.
- Eat light, focusing on healthy, simple foods like cheese and bread while avoiding cabbage, pulses, and Ban excitants such as alcohol, coffee, tobacco or soft drinks.
- Book a place in the center of the plane. It is near the wings that the turbulences are the weakest.
- During a long flight, get up frequently and take a few steps to not numb yourself.
- Plan small drops for the eyes if you are prone to dry eye.
- On take-off and landing, chew gum or suck a candy, swallowing relieves pressure on the inner ear.
- It is recommended to drink 1 liter of water every 4 hours of flight to rehydrate your body and optimize your blood circulation.
Being sick by car or train
When traveling on land with the car or train, it is especially the oscillations due to winding roads, accelerations and sudden decelerations that generate kinetics. The phenomenon is less amplified during train travel since it affects only 1% to 4% of passengers. This is due to the fact that it is the rolls and the transversal movements that affect the body creating motion sickness.
Little tips to avoid it by car:
- Do not take a big meal before departure and ban alcohol. Drinking an infusion of ginger 3 to 4 hours before leaving is ideal.
- During the journey, avoid reading or following a moving object. On the contrary, fix your gaze on the horizon through the window while placing your head on the back of your seat. Also, drink plenty of water and open a window slightly to ventilate yourself.
- If possible, ask the driver to drive at a constant speed to minimize acceleration, deceleration and sudden movement of the car. You can also drive if you have a driver’s license. Focusing on driving will quickly dissipate feelings of discomfort. If not, stand in front of the driver to watch the road through the windshield. Try to settle as comfortably as possible.
- Plan frequent breaks to ventilate, exercise and stretch your legs. Do not eat in the car, as the smell of food may cause nausea.
If you take the train:
- Sit in the direction of the walk. Choose a location in the center of the train and away from the windows to avoid being tempted to watch the scenery.
- Ban any visual simulation like reading or video games and try to keep your eyes closed as much as possible.
- Avoid smoking areas and do not smoke while driving.
- Do not leave on an empty stomach and drink sweet during the trip, including fruit juice or soft drinks open in advance to allow the majority of the gas to dissipate.
Managing children’s motion sickness
- Give him a good night’s sleep by asking him to go to bed early and wake him up only after all the preparations have been made, in order to limit his stress and excitement.
- Give him a hearty meal like English breakfast, with fruit and yogurt. Coffee with milk is to be avoided because it is difficult to digest.
- If you know he is prone to motion sickness, give him an antihistamine one hour before departure.
- Organize activities to capture his attention during the trip. Songs, games, riddles or exploration of historic places during stops are good derivatives.
In case of a car trip
- Video games and reading are to be banned throughout the journey.
- Put on soft music, with a low sound level.
- Take breaks on a regular basis, normally every 2 hours. This will allow him to take the air and stretch his legs at the same time.
- Choose the highway where you can drive at almost constant speed. Drive calmly to avoid sudden acceleration and deceleration.
- Refresh the cabin by slightly opening the windows to renew the air.
- Put your child in a position that avoids movements. If you’re taking a baby, put him in a basket to help him fall asleep more easily.
- If despite these precautions, the child has discomfort, ask him to look out the window and breathe deeply. Stop at the nearest parking area to get some fresh air.
- Always keep a disposable bag in the car in case your child vomits. There are models on the market that include an absorbent pad that can turn smelly regurgitation into a non-odorous gel. Do not forget the baking soda that facilitates cleaning and eliminates odors.
- Among grandmother’s recipes that can work, you can try the tip of taped tape on the belly button, the lemon to sniff or the bunch of parsley tied around your neck, your child’s magic thought will do the rest …
Motion sickness is a gene that is best anticipated by adopting the right attitudes. Many techniques prevent the arrival of signs of discomfort and make the trip much more enjoyable. And you, do you have other tips that seem effective for fighting motion sickness?
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