If you suffer from travel sickness, you are not alone. Many people suffer from travel or motion sickness when travelling in a car, plane, boat or fairground ride. In these instances you are in a fixed position, sitting on the ride or in the vehicle, but you can see and feel that you are moving, either along the road, across the sea or in the air. Travel sickness is more common in children than adults. The good thing is that children often grown out of it.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can include:
• Cold sweats
• Excess saliva
Often the symptoms get worse the longer the journey continues. However, once you have reached your destination the symptoms disappear quickly. In extreme cases, the symptoms may take a few hours or even a few days to disappear.
What causes travel sickness?
The repeated movements experienced when travelling i.e. bumps, corners, roundabouts send messages to your brain. Your eyes are sending a message to your brain about the position of your body meanwhile a different message is being sent to your brain from your inner ear. The conflicting messages being sent by your senses combined with the mixed messages going to your brain can make you feel sick. Travel sickness can also be triggered by anxiety and smells like food or petrol. Another trigger is trying to read in the car while the car is moving.
How to prevent travel sickness
Thankfully there are ways to prevent and/or treat car sickness. Here are some useful tips on how to prevent it.
• Don’t eat large meals before you leave or while you are travelling
• Avoid alcohol
• Sit in the front seat so you get a clear view of the road
• Don’t focus on something close such as a book or film
• Look at objects in the distance
• Close your eyes and try to sleep
• Make sure the car is well ventilated
• Stop for regular breaks
Travel sickness medicine
If all else fails, travel sickness can be treated with medicine prescribed by your doctor or bought over-the-counter at your pharmacy. Before you try a travel sickness medicine, consult your medical practitioner or pharmacist. They will help you choose the right treatment for your age, the severity of travel sickness and other medication you are on.
If you’d rather treat your travel sickness without resorting to medication, try the suggestions below.
• Fresh air
• Sip cold water
• Take a short walk
• Eat a ginger biscuit or crystallised ginger or drink ginger tea
• Suck on a peppermint or drink peppermint tea
• Focus your breathing so that it is deep and slow
• Listen to relaxing music on a portable player
• Wear acupressure bands on your wrists
However you decide to treat travel sickness, if you are travelling by car, ensure you have adequate car insurance cover. For a car insurance quote and more information about the types of car insurance available from Privilege, visit www.privilege.com/motor/index.htm.