Travel sickness, also known as motion sickness, is a common problem that many people experience when they are on the move. This condition can make travelling unpleasant, uncomfortable and even ruin the experience of exploring new places. In this post, we will discuss what travel sickness is, why it occurs and how to prevent or manage it.
What is travel sickness? Travel sickness is a type of motion sickness that occurs when the body's balance system becomes confused. This confusion happens when the body is experiencing motion but the eyes do not see the motion. It can also occur when the eyes see motion but the body is not moving. This mismatch in information can lead to a variety of symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms of travel sickness include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, sweating, and fatigue.
Why does travel sickness occur? Travel sickness occurs when there is a mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear (vestibular system) detects. This mismatch triggers a response in the autonomic nervous system, which is responsible for controlling bodily functions such as heart rate, breathing, and digestion. The result of this response can be the symptoms of travel sickness.
Certain factors can increase the likelihood of experiencing travel sickness. These include a history of motion sickness, a lack of fresh air, poor ventilation, strong smells, and anxiety. Additionally, some modes of transport, such as cars, boats, and planes, can exacerbate symptoms due to the combination of motion, lack of fresh air, and confined spaces.
How to prevent or manage travel sickness? Fortunately, there are several ways to prevent or manage travel sickness. Here are some tips:
Choose your seat wisely: When traveling by car or bus, try to sit in the front seat, where there is less movement. When traveling by plane, try to book a seat over the wing, as this is the most stable part of the plane.
Look at the horizon: When traveling by boat or train, try to look at the horizon as much as possible. This will help to give your brain a reference point and reduce the mismatch between what the eyes see and what the inner ear detects.
Avoid reading: Reading or looking down at your phone or other device can worsen symptoms. Instead, try to focus on the view outside or close your eyes.
Keep a steady airflow: Fresh air can help to reduce symptoms, so make sure to keep a steady flow of fresh air circulating. Open a window, turn on the air conditioning, or use a fan.
Take medication: There are several medications available that can help to prevent or manage travel sickness. Over-the-counter options include antihistamines and ginger supplements, while prescription medications include scopolamine patches and promethazine.
In conclusion, travel sickness can be an unpleasant and uncomfortable experience, but there are ways to prevent or manage it. By choosing your seat wisely, looking at the horizon, avoiding reading, keeping a steady airflow, and taking medication, you can minimize the symptoms and enjoy your travels to the fullest.