TIPS TO DEAL WITH It
By Dr.Vipul Agarwal
A beautiful ride in the mountains is often corrupted by dizziness, nausea and vomiting, what we call motion sickness, impacting the whole trip not only for us but also for our fellow passengers.
It leads to significant distress and interferes with their ability to function. Motion sickness happens due to vestibular disequilibrium where our body is at rest but perceives motion due to movement of the vehicle, this leads to the disturbance in body balance and hence, motion sickness. So the question that arises is, What can I do to kick out this motion sickness and enjoy the beautiful ride
- Drive– a driver never feels motion sick as his eyes are constantly on the road, or you can sit on the front seat next to the driver and look at the road in front of you, which balances the visual and vestibular cues, hence preventing motion sickness
- Do not read – be it mobile phones or books, reading precipitates motion sickness
- Keep your eyes on the outside world while you are in motion– For example, if you are in a car, sit in the front and look in the direction you are moving; if you are on a boat, stay on the deck and look to the horizon. This helps make what you see match the movement you are feeling, and so you are less likely to feel sick.
- If looking out from the window, look at a distant, stationary object. Avoid looking at the objects close to you inside the vehicle.
- Seat selection- select the seats which have least motion. In a car, take front seats. In an airplane, occupy the seats over the front edge of the wings. In a ship, lower decks and midship cabins should be preferred.
- Ginger- keeping a piece of ginger around 1-2 grams in mouth half an hour before starting journey, to be kept throughout the journey, has worked as an effective measure in prevention of motion sickness for many patients
- Acupuncture– apply pressure on the anterior wrist, either by manual pressure or with a wrist band. The exact point being shown in the figure below.
There are a number of medicines that can help prevent and treat motion sickness. In general, these medicines work best if you take them before symptoms start. Many have the drawback of making you feel sleepy. Consult your doctor, to find out the medicines which suit you and work best for you.
Commonly used drugs in Motion Sickness include
- Scopolamine transdermal patch- 1mg/72 hours
It’s a patch, which can be applied behind the ear 12 hours prior to the journey, releases the drug into the body, through the skin, works well for 3 days
2. Meclizine- 25 mg 6th hourly. To start one hour prior to beginning the journey
- Chlorpheniramine- popular antihistaminic, used commonly for cold and running nose, can be taken one hour prior to journey, has been beneficial for a lot of patients. Can cause significant sedation, so is often combined with ephedrine/pseudoephedrine which are stimulants. To be strictly avoided by the drivers and pilots.
All three drugs are available over the counter, but it is advisable to take them after your physician’s opinion.
Dr.Vipul Agarwal is M.B.B.S MD Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yenepoya medical college, Mangaluru