How to Prevent Motion Sickness

Prevent Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is an unpleasant “sick to your stomach” feeling that can strike suddenly when you’re in a moving car, boat, plane, train, or amusement park ride, or participating in certain visual activities, such as playing video games. The most common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, clammy skin, dizziness, and irritability.

So, what causes motion sickness? It can occur any time your body’s sensory systems become unbalanced. For instance, if you’re on a slow-moving cruise ship, your eyes may tell your brain that you’re not moving, but the vestibular and somatosensory systems in your brain and inner ears (which control your balance and posture) may be able to perceive movement. As a result, a sensory conflict may arise and make you feel sick.

Some people are more affected by motion sickness than others. While there are medications available that can help alleviate the symptoms, there are also some steps you can take to help prevent motion sickness from occurring in the first place. Here are some potentially effective techniques:

  • If you’re traveling by car, take the driver’s seat if you can – As a driver, you’ll be less prone to motion sickness because you’ll be using your brain to control the vehicle, which can help your body to sense and predict motion.
  • Take control as a passenger – Sit in the front seat and engage in conversation to help take your mind off the ride. Open a vent or window so that you’ll get plenty of fresh air, and avoid reading in a moving vehicle.
  • Equalize your sensory cues – If you start to feel dizzy or sick, try focusing on the horizon or a fixed point in the distance, or lie down if you can.
  • Talk yourself out of it – Affirmative self-talk often works. Set your own expectations and tell yourself that you’re not going to get sick this time.
  • Try acupressure – Some people benefit from wearing simple pressure point devices, such as stretchy wristbands with plastic buttons. This might be worth a try, even just for a placebo effect.
  • Ride it out – After about three days, your motion sickness may go away on its own as your body adapts to the inconsistencies in its sensory systems.

If motion sickness is a frequent problem for you, you can see a physician and receive personalized medical advice at South Tampa Immediate Care. No appointments are necessary at our walk-in clinic, which is conveniently located on South Howard Avenue in Tampa, FL.