Neurosurgery and Brain Health Prevent Motion Sickness from Coming Along for the Ride By Neurosurgery, July 9, 2014 This summer, you’ll most likely be taking a trip somewhere, whether it’s by car, train, plane, or even a boat. But sometimes, that journey can be a bumpy one. For some people, bumpy rides come with something that we all dread – motion sickness. And nobody wants to be that person who permanently stained their best friend’s new car interior with remnants of the morning’s breakfast sandwich. Different people are affected by different types of motion sickness. Perhaps a ride in a car doesn’t make you queasy, but a summer outing on a boat makes you feel less than seaworthy? Similarly, your stomach may do backflips while you’re on an airplane en route to a summer vacation destination. Whether you’re traveling via plane, train, or automobile, here are some helpful tips on what causes motion sickness, and most importantly, how to prevent it. Here’s to a motion sickness-free summer! What Causes Motion Sickness? Your brain senses movement around you by receiving signals from your eyes, ears, and muscles. If these signals don’t match, then motion sickness can occur. For example, seasickness is common when traveling by boat. When you are on a boat your inner ear senses motion, but your eyes cannot tell you are moving. Your brain becomes confused because these senses don’t match, hence some people running for the nearest garbage can. Symptoms of Motion Sickness Some common symptoms of motion sickness include: Fatigue Dizziness Nausea Vomiting Sometimes, just thinking about taking that car or boat ride can cause anxiety and symptoms of motion sickness. Motion Sickness Prevention Being proactive before traveling can keep you from getting sick. Try taking these prevention tips into consideration when traveling. Look out into the distance at stationary objects. If you’re on a boat, try staring at the horizon for a few minutes. Keep your head still while resting it against a seat back. Do not sit near smokers or smoke. Do not overeat and avoid spicy and greasy foods before traveling. Take motion sickness medication, either over the counter or prescribed by a physician, or wear pressure bracelets. Don’t turn around or move a lot. Sitting forward helps keep the motion sensed by your eyes and ears the same. Also, consider requesting a seat or room that will be least likely to make you sick. Ship: Request a cabin in the front or middle of the ship near the water level. Plane: A seat near the wing will ensure a smoother flight than seats at the front or rear of the plane. Train: Face the direction the train is travelling and sit in a seat near the front and next to a window. Automobile: When traveling with someone in the car, try to sit in the passenger seat and always look straight ahead. In addition, if your child gets sick in the car, don’t put them in the front seat until they’re old enough. All children age 12 and under should be safely buckled in in the back seat. We hope these tips help you to enjoy your summer travels. Getting there is half the fun. Following these simple tips can help to make your summer road trips more enjoyable. If you find that you have a more severe case of motion sickness, seek medical attention or make an appointment with your doctor before you hit the road. Do you have any tips that may have helped you overcome motion sickness? Please feel free to share them with us! We’d love to hear from you.