Motion sickness is not an illness but a normal but exaggerated response to unfamiliar motion of increased intensity and duration.Sometimes it is referred to as sea sickness or car sickness.
Risk factors are:
- Sea > Air > Car > Train
- Women > Men
- Inexperienced travellers > Experienced travellers
- Young age > Older age
- Passengers > Crews
- Passengers > Drivers
Sign & Symptoms
Nausea, sweating, salivation, dizziness, fatique and vomiting are usual symptoms. Symptoms are rare below 2 years old and peak between the ages of 3 and 12. The elderly are less susceptible.
Drugs such as antihistamines or scopolamines as advised by doctor.
Prevention & Precautions
Specific advice on preventing/treating Motion Sickness:-
- Don’t travel on an empty stomach; this seems to promote symptoms. Susceptible children should not have large meals just prior to and during trips but take frequent drinks of fruit juice or soda.
- If nauseated, keep head stationary. Don’t read but listen to music.
- Increasing ventilation, decreasing food intake and avoiding alcohol are other techniques to reduce motion sickness. Natural remedies e.g. ginger root, may offer some benefit.
In a vehicle:-
- In a car, sit in front seat. Look forward at the horizon, rather than from the side windows.
- On a boat, try to stay in the middle (amidship). Lie supine with head supported on pillows. Keep head still and eyes closed. If on deck, look out at the horizon. One trick: pretend ‘dancing with the ship’.
- On an airplane, request a seat in mid-section of cabin where movements are less pronounced. Lean back in seat, keep head still and look straight ahead.
- Drugs commonly used for prevention are the scopolamine preparations and the antihistamines.
References organisation/ support
International Travel & Health, WHO 2006
|Last Reviewed||:||27 April 2012|
|Writer||:||Dr. Norhayati Rusli|
|Reviewer||:||Wong Swee Fong|