You Suffer From Travel Sickness? Here’s What You Can Do About It

For many people, the vacation already begins with the journey. It is annoying when the travel sickness is so strong that any joy disappears. Here you can find out how travel sickness develops and what you can do about it.

What Is Travel Sickness?

Did you know that about 5 to 10% of people are affected by travel sickness? But what exactly is travel sickness? This refers to a variety of symptoms that occur due to disturbance of balance.

Travel sickness is triggered by stimuli of movement. For example, by traveling in a car, airplane or on a ship. Dizziness, nausea or vomiting are the most common symptoms. The technical term for motion sickness is “kinetosis” and is derived from the Greek word for moving. (kinein)

Did you know? We talk about pseudo-kinetosis when, for example, a flight simulator or a performance in a 3D movie theater triggers travel sickness. In this case, there is no real movement, but only the impression of it that is conveyed by the eyes.

How Travel Sickness Manifests Itself

As with all other illnesses, travel sickness can vary in severity from person to person. Some experience only mild nausea, while others have to vomit several times and suffer from dizzy spells.

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At the beginning of kinetosis, most people feel tired, have to yawn frequently, experience mild headaches and produce more saliva.

Symptoms that denote classic motion sickness are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Paleness
  • Breathing problems
  • Sweating

In addition, low blood pressure may also occur. However, most people recover quickly from motion sickness.

These Causes Lead To Motion Sickness

According to medical experts, the reason for motion sickness is that in certain situations there is a conflict between different sensory impressions.

The body is constantly busy coordinating conscious as well as unconscious movements. This is the only way it can maintain its balance. The organ of equilibrium is located in the inner ear and possesses the ability to sense the rotational movements of the head via so-called arcuates.

The otolith organsare responsible for theperception of horizontal and vertical movements . Small receptor cells register every change and send this information in turn to the responsible nerves of the brain.

Not only the vestibular organ, but also proprioceptors send important signals to the brain. These are mainly located on the muscles and vision and measure the state of stretching. The nerves are so well coordinated that a person is able to close his eyes and coordinate both arms in parallel.

Incidentally, the eyes are the third most important source of information for the brain when it comes to perceiving the body spatially. In motion sickness, the visual impression plays an enormous role.

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All the information that the brain contains from the sensory cells is stored and assembled into a meaningful three-dimensional image. In certain situations, however, the information that the sensory cells reproduce to the brain is contradictory.

For example, when you are sitting as a passenger in a car and looking at a city map or a map. At that moment, your eyes perceive that you are sitting still. In contrast, the organ of equilibrium perceives movement due to the ride. The confusion of the senses creates the feeling of travel sickness.

Risk Factors For Travel Sickness

Basically, anyone can get motion sickness. However, these factors increase the likelihood of having to fight nausea and dizziness while traveling:

What Are The Types Of Travel Nausea?

Basically, travel sickness can occur wherever a person is set in motion by a “foreign” force. In other words: When you walk or run, you set your body in motion yourself. If you get into a car or an airplane, the acceleration is generated by a different force, i.e. not by yourself.

Did you already know? It is typical for motion sickness that the symptoms disappear with the end of the journey. Very few people continue to suffer from the symptoms for several hours after the trip.

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Doctors distinguish between the following types of motion sickness:

  • Seasickness (ship)
  • Air sickness (airplane).
  • Space sickness (space travel).
  • Land sickness (shore leave after sea voyage).

What Helps Against Nausea?

If you are prone to motion sickness and have experienced it in the past, it is advisable to prevent it in time. With the following tips you can alleviate motion sickness or even avoid it completely. However, this depends on how pronounced it is for you.

The Right Food

Of course, it is important to fortify yourself before a long and strenuous trip. But it depends on what you eat. Some foods can increase the risk of nausea.

Immediately before the trip, you should eat a light meal that is not too fatty. A tasty fruit salad or a sandwich is perfect.

Do Not Forget To Drink

As you surely know, it is important to drink enough. This way you can avoid dizzy spells and get your circulation going. On the other hand, you should strictly avoid alcohol. You should also enjoy caffeine only in moderation. A cup of coffee or black tea is perfectly fine.

The Right Place Is Crucial

In the car, it is recommended that you get behind the wheel yourself. Since the driver has to keep his eyes constantly on the road the whole time, he is less prone to nausea.

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In an airplane, you should choose a seat near the wings – and preferably near the aisle. For one thing, natural movements are hardly noticeable there while flying. For another, it helps some people to take a few steps up and down the aisle.

Medication For Travel Sickness

If you suffer from advanced travel nausea, you should stop by the pharmacy before you start your trip. There you will find anti-nausea remedies. It is most effective if you take the tablets 30 to 60 minutes before the trip.

Travel Sickness: Should I Worry?

No. Many people suffer from travel nausea. It is not an illness, but simply various symptoms that occur during a trip.

Excitement, anxiety and anticipation – these are all factors that can contribute to you suffering from nausea or feeling a little dizzy. As you have already learned in this article, in most cases the symptoms disappear with the end of the trip.

If this is not the case for you and you still don’t feel better even a few hours later, it actually always helps to rest for a moment and relax a bit. If you want to be on the safe side, you can also consult a doctor.


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