Did you know that as many as one of every 10 adults suffer from locomotion sickness?
It does not matter if you travel by car, ship or train - nausea may be a serious burden.
What is motion sickness?
Motion sickness, also referred to as kinetosis, or travel sickness, is a disease caused by an irritation of the vestibular system occurring when using any means of transportation. The condition is caused by a disagreement between stimuli received by eyes and the vestibular system, which are then processed by the brain. The vestibular system is made up of a small organ located in the inner ear, responsible for the sense of balance. Functioning properly, the organ gives us spatial orientation of up and down, front and back, etc. Sensations registered by the system are verified by our eyes and then the brain receives the information from deep sensors and the sense of touch, determining the position of our body in relation to its base. Sometimes, signals reaching the brain seem to be in conflict. For example, on a sea cruise, the vestibular system records rocking on waves, yet our eyes see a calm and steady horizon. Hypersensitive individuals suffer from irritation of the vestibular system, a function of which is disturbed by monotonous head movements caused by a moving vehicle. The vestibular system gets confused about the position of the body and other data necessary for staying balanced, leading to dizziness that may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
What are the most common symptoms of motion sickness?
As some symptoms of motion sickness develop early while others are delayed, they may be divided accordingly.
- loss of appetite,
- general poor feeling,
- dizziness and headache,
- dry mouth or salivation,
- excessive sweating,
- nausea, vomiting
How to minimise the risk of motion sickness?
If you are prone to travel sickness, try to consider the following tips:
- If you can, use a bigger car, with a hard suspension and preferably equipped with AC.
- Sit by an open window, even if it is only open a little.
- If you feel nauseous, stop the car and take several deep breaths in the open air.
- When riding a bus or coach, try to sit in the front part of the vehicle, preferably far from the axles.
- On a train, always sit facing forward, towards the direction of the travel, and try to find a place which does not rock so hard (far from wheel axles),
- If cruising on a ship, try to remain in the middle of its length. When taking a plane, choose seats close to the wings.
- Do not look in one direction for too long. Direct your sight far away, over the horizon.
- If it is possible, lie down or stretch in your seat.
- Do not read, and do not look down.
- Do not overeat before the travel and do not travel on an empty stomach either. Eat a light meal about an hour before the planned journey.
- Avoid sweetened and carbonated drinks.