Travel Sickness - is it as easy to prevent as it is to get?
Travel sickness is not a new problem. Since the days of the first adventurers and travellers, there have always been those who get ill when they travel and those who don't.
For those of us lucky enough to be able to travel on planes, trains and automobiles without getting unwell, it may seem odd, but for those who get anxious, sweaty and nauseous at the sight (or even the thought) of stepping aboard, travel sickness is not just real, it can be debilitating.
Modern science tells us that travel sickness is caused by a disruption of the nerve signals sent between the balance organs in the ear and both the brain and digestive system. Once these signals are disrupted, nausea sets in and just gets worse and worse.
There have been many attempts to overcome the problem using all sorts of wierd and wonderful lotions, potions and devices, some with more success than others. Although many drug treatments exist, they come with the same types of side-effects commonly seen with other drugs and can't always be given to children.
Devices such as magnets, static dischargers and pressure bracelets have varying levels of success and can be useful for some people, whilst others find they make no difference at all.
More recently, natural and homeopathic treatments have appeared. These (e.g. CanTravel) also act to calm the over-stimulation that causes motion sickness, both preventing and treating the problem.
And that is the heart of the matter - as with many other health issues, prevention of travel sickness is many times better than cure!
Top travel-sickness prevention tips
One of the best ways to prevent problems is to pay attention to what's going on. In this day and age, many people (especially kids) are too busy watching movies or playing with various electronics devices and wonder why they are suddenly get ill! Like the age-old advice to "look at the horizon" given to novice sailors (I know this one works from personal experience!), watching where you are going can go a long way to both preventing and getting rid of unwated motion sickness symptoms.
Similarly, we often tend to "pig out" when going on long journeys, forgetting that this can be one of the prime causes of motion sickness. Kids, especially should avoid heavy meals before travelling and limit the use of fizzy drinks. That said, one of the worst culprits for kids seems to be orange juice - who knows why?
Conversely, many people say that their travel sickness is helped by chewing. This seems to act as some kind of "reset" button for the balance system and can be very effective in some motion sickness sufferers.
As with most things, moderation seems to be the answer. Common sense seems to indicate that reasonable steps (such as those above) can act as both prevention and cure, but if all else fails, then natural treatments are a far better option than chemical drugs.
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