What is travel or Motion sickness?
Travel sickness, also known as motion sickness, is when someone feels sick or vomits because they are moving. It can happen on boats, cars, planes and occasionally, on fairground rides. Travel sickness is very common, especially in children.
- Travel sickness normally occurs when repetitive small movements mean the brain is sent mixed messages. The eyes say one thing about the position of the body, while the delicate inner ear balance mechanisms are reporting something different.
- Occasionally, travel related smells, such as those of food or petrol can cause travel sickness in people who suffer from it on a regular basis as they associate those smells with feeling sick.
- Reading a book whilst travelling can induce sickness in some people.
- Anxiety about travelling can also cause travel sickness.
Symptoms usually come on suddenly and normally get better once the journey has ended. However, in some people, recovery may take up to a day.
- Discomfort in upper abdomen
- Cold sweat
- Turning pale
- Rapid breathing
Rubrics that can be helpful in repertizing motion sickness are:
- Generalities; travelling, ailments from
- Mind; anxiety, motion from, aggravates
- Mind; fear narrow places
- Stomach; nausea,riding in ca, while, aggravates
- Stomach; nausea, seasickness
- Arnica – Usually a more sudden onset. Often the nausea will be accompanied by a bruised, achy feeling. They just can’t get comfortable.
- Cocculus – The characteristic symptom is a hollow feeling in the stomach. It can be brought on by watching moving objects.
- Nux Vomica – Nausea before travel or during the voyage.
- Opium – Hot or cold sweat on the forehead. Drowsiness and sleepiness will usually be present. A mental fog often ensues.
- Petroleum – Face pale. Dizziness, even while lying. Hering suggested Petroleum if Cocculus fails.
- Tabacum – Cold sweat, chills and deathly nausea. Vomiting with pallor and cold sweat over the whole body.
What to do
- Deep breathing can help. Breathe deeply and slowly, whilst focusing on your breathing.
- Try listening to some soothing music.
- Minimise your head and body movements by getting a seat or cabin in the middle of a boat or a plane.
- Try getting some fresh air, sipping some cold water and taking a short walk if possible.
- Fix your visison on a stable object, such as the horizon or try closing your eyes.
- Avoid heavy meals and alcohol before travelling.
- Keeping still with eyes closed.
- Eating ginger in biscuit, tea or in crystallized form is said to settle the stomach of some sufferers.
- Eating peppermints or drinking peppermint tea can help soothe the stomach.
- Avoid reading.
Other ways to help
If in a car:
- Ask the driver to take bends gently and to stop for regular stretches.
If at sea:
- Get as much fresh air as possible away from the smell of fuel fumes and galley foods.
- Going out on deck is ideal, but make sure to focus on the horizon or something that isn’t moving – don’t watch the waves.
- If it’s too cold and you have to stay inside, find a seat in the middle of the ship on a lower deck, this is where the ship moves least. If you are still nauseous, lie down
If in the air:
- Ask for a seat over the wing, where the plane is most stable. Tilt your seat back, rest your head on the headrest and close your eyes. Music helps some people relax and takes the mind off feeling unwell.
- If you know you’re going to be sick, ask for a seat near the toilets so you don’t have to make a dash for it.
Tips for children with travel sickness
- If the child is old enough they should sit in the front of the car where they can get a clear view of the road. Young children should be put in the back seat where they can see the road.
- Try to get children to avoid looking down into their lap. Reading or games that encourage concentrating downwards should not be encouraged.
- Singing along to music or playing games that encourage looking ahead helps prevent problems.
- Get them to sip water frequently to help prevent dehydration (especially when flying).
- Make sure they get as much fresh air as possible.
- If travelling by boat or plane try to sit in an area with the least motion (usually in the middle of the craft).
- Don’t dwell on travel sickness as you may put the belief into your child’s head that he/she is always going to be sick.
2nd year student
Solan Homoeopathic Medical college & hospital
Solan (Himachal Pradesh)