A huge bouquet of red roses, dinner at a top order restaurant and then a long drive! The perfect recipe of a romantic evening out, isn’t it? Then, you PUKE!!! Yuck, spoke too soon! The entire evening crashes down! The next time you try saying ‘long drive’, your partner will be shaking his head vigorously!
Mention ‘travel’, sufferers of motion sickness break out in cold sweat. Car, train, airplane, boat – nothing helps! Amusement park rides are out too, damn! Wherever, whatever, the feeling simply fails to go away. Walking, that is the stuff dreams are made of for this class of people!!! The queasiness, the constant effort to hold the food down, failing to do so and throwing up – this is ‘oh-so-familiar’ territory for them. Then comes the embarrassment, discomfiture and exhaustion. If only these bouts could be avoided!!!
Maybe with some pre-emptive steps and right medicines, journeys need no longer turn to be nightmarish trips for you and so many others!
Why the puke?
Let’s keep this very simple. We have something called the vestibular system in our ear; with the cochlea, it forms the inner ear. It helps in our sense of balance and spatial orientation. This sends signals to the brain when we move. So do our eyes and sensory nerves. As well as other parts of the body. But when these signals do not match, we become sick. Seated inside the moving car, your eyes see the world pass and send signals saying so to the brain. But your body does not sense movement. It will say the same to the brain. The conflicting messages make the body to react; the stomach heaves and empties its contents.
See the signs
Vomiting comes last. Before that, you become pale, break into cold sweat and feel dizzy. There is an increase in the saliva in the mouth.
Some people suffer from symptoms like shallow breathing and headaches also.
Possible ways to keep it down
There are certain techniques that can help in controlling the symptoms. While travelling
- Take slow, deep breaths
- Look out into the distance
- Listen to music
- Sit in the front seat of the car. In an airplane or ship, the middle is where you should be to reduce the chances of feeling queasy. This is so because this part is the calmest; it experiences the least motion. In a ship, the lower level cabins are the best.
- Fresh air helps. So open the window or air vent.
There are certain medicines that can prevent people from suffering from motion sickness.
- Antihistamine can prevent motion sickness. Take meclizine or dimenhydrinate half an hour before travel.
- A patch containing scopolamine can also be used. Stick it behind the ear several hours before starting your journey. Its protection lasts for 72 hours. But you need to consult a doctor first. Use it only when prescribed.
Motion sickness symptoms are aggravated by certain things we may do before starting or during the journey.
- Mind the food and drinks. Heavy, spicy and oil foods are best avoided. Keep off drinks.
- Strong food odors can trigger the symptoms. So avoid them.
- Look towards the direction of travel. Do not sit facing backwards.
- Avoid reading or playing games.
- Do not move your head too much
- Turn blind when it comes to sights of other being sick and go deaf to conversations of motion sickness while travelling. Go on the detachment mode from such scenes and sounds.
- Keep away from smoking and smokers.
But more than anything else, try to RELAX! A tall order for you, I know, but TRY! The memory of the hard-to-count incidents of throwing up at the most inopportune moments makes you tense up every time you sit in the car. Breathe! Listen to your favorite tunes!
If you do fall sick, don’t panic! Eat dry crackers and drink a carbonated drink!
Just remember, becoming sick while travelling is not the end of the world. Life goes on, puke or no puke.