Travel Sickness

Travel Sickness

Travel sickness is also known as motion sickness. The basic cause is repeated unusual movements during travelling. Other causes could be anxiety, strong smell of food or petrol, playing computer games, etc. Symptoms can develop in cars, trains, planes, or rides.


  • More common in children and also in women
  • Several medicines available to reduce symptoms

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2 Treatment(s) available

Cyclizine
£30.00

  • Helps reduce travel sickness
  • Not recommended for children under 6
  • Take the first tablet 2 hours before your travel
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Prochloperazine (Buccal)
£11.00

  • Helps reduce dizziness
  • Treats nausea and vomiting
  • Very effective for severe restlessness
  • Not recommended for children under 12


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Description

Motion sickness is a common condition which causes unpleasant symptoms (typically nausea) to arise during real or perceived motion. If you have ever felt queasy on a bumpy aeroplane journey or a rocking boat, you will be fully aware of the discomfort that motion sickness brings. The most common form of travel sickness would be seasickness, which is brought on by unsteady boat travel. The other main examples include carsickness and airsickness.


This condition is regarded as being a form of dizziness which can be easily induced in a majority of regular people. Although it can be unpleasant and may bring distress to your life (especially if you travel a lot), it generally won’t lead to any negative long-term effects. You should only be concerned if you experience prolonged vomiting, which could lead to dehydration, etc.


Motion sickness can cause symptoms such as:


  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Profusely sweating
  • General feeling of being unwell


Symptoms will generally fade once the motion has ceased. The most affected group of people would be children from the ages 5-12, as well as women and older adults. You will become more susceptible to motion sickness the older you grow.


To learn more about travel sickness, see the comprehensive patient information leaflet


Causes

Motion is sensed by the brain through multiple pathways of the nervous system. These include the eyes, the inner ear, the tissues on the surface of the body, and the muscle joint sensory receptors. Motion sickness occurs when there are mixed signals sent to the brain by the eyes and inner ears, known as the semicircular canals.


When a part of your balance-sensing system can sense that your body is moving, but other parts don’t, you suffer from motion sickness and develop symptoms. An example of such could be if you were in the cabin of a moving vessel or a car without being able to see out the window; your ears may be able to sense the motion of waves/travel, but your eyes will be unable to see any movement. This conflict of senses can result in motion sickness.


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Types Of Treatment

Treatment for motion sickness can be approached from many angles. It can consist of changes to your environment, medical treatment, over-the-counter medications (OTC), and even home remedies. Medicine can be used to either prevent the condition or decrease the severity of unpleasant symptoms such as nausea.


Medicines

  • Hyoscine – This is the most effective medicine used to treat motion sickness. It prevents various messages received by the brain which cause confusion. This medicine is best effective when taken 30-60 minutes before travel. The effect lasts up to 72 hours. Patches are also available which contain hyoscine. You can stick one on to the skin behind your ear 5-6 hours before travel. This releases the medicine into your bloodstream. Some of the common side effects of hyoscine are dry mouth, blurred vision, and drowsiness.


  • Antihistamines – These are not so effective as hyoscines. There are several types of antihistamines, such as promethazine, cinnarizine, and cyclizine. These medicines cause fewer side effects. Promethazine causes drowsiness. Hence, it is recommended for young children travelling long distances. Whereas, the other two medicines can be used by adults as they cause less drowsiness.


Other Treatments

  • Try and breathe deeply and slowly
  • Ginger can help improve motion sickness


When contemplating treatment options for motion sickness, you must understand that preventing the condition is much more effective than attempting to cure it once symptoms have arisen.


Motion sickness can be prevented. Some of the tips include:


  • Sit in the front seat of a car, over the wings of a plane
  • Open car windows
  • Do not try to read while travelling
  • Try to sleep
  • Avoid staring at moving objects
  • Avoid heavy meals before or during travel
  • Take short breaks while travelling


If you decide to go down the route of medical treatment, several factors including age, any current medication you are on, the length of your travel, susceptibility to motion sickness (etc.) must be considered. Other forms of treatment are biofeedback and relaxation techniques, which have been found to work very well for some patients.



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

Questions & Answers

I often become carsick, does this mean I’ll also become seasick?

Every vehicle and means of travel (etc.) will have a unique pattern of movement and vibrations. A person will most likely be susceptible to a certain motion, instead of being susceptible to all kinds of motions. What affects one person may have absolutely no effect on another person; the only way to find out what affects you is by trying it out.


How does ginger help motion sickness?

Ginger root has been long used in Chinese medicine and regarded as an effective treatment for a range of conditions, including nausea and stomach ache. It can be consumed in the form of powder, capsules, or drank in tea. A lot of other people have also boasted of the positive effects of ginger, but scientific evidence is conflicting. Ginger is regarded as safe to try, but can’t be currently regarded as an effective treatment.


Is there a cure for motion sickness?

No. There is no existing cure currently available for motion sickness. However, there are many options towards preventing symptoms or reducing the severity of pre-existing symptoms. For a large majority of affected people, this condition will be totally self-treatable through non-pharmacological methods.


Can a person overcome a struggle with motion sickness completely naturally?

Yes. It is quite common for motion sickness to naturally fade after a long while of suffering from it. Medical treatment does not always need to be turned to. 



If you are looking for some expert help, book an ONLINE consultation with our GMC Registered Clinicians at alldayDr.com.


Patient discretion and confidentiality top the priority list at alldayDr.com!

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