Treatments

Travel Sickness

We currently have no travel sickness treatments at the moment

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Overview

What is travel sickness?

Travel sickness (also known as motion sickness) is the general feeling of being unwell whilst on any mode of transport, such as carsickness, seasickness or airsickness. The main symptoms of being travel sick are nausea, dizziness and vomiting, whilst travelling. The motion of travelling confuses the body’s senses, which can cause a person to feel sick. Some sufferers of travel sickness are unable to adapt to the changes and therefore they will continue to feel sick until the motion stops.


Diagnosis of travel sickness

Travel sickness can be self-diagnosed in the majority of cases and a doctor will not need to be seen. This can be done by observing your signs and symptoms and ensuring that they only occur when you are in motion. If you continue to experience the symptoms when the motion has stopped, or if you have more severe symptoms, you should see a doctor for a more accurate diagnosis.


Prevention of travel sickness

To prevent or reduce travel sickness symptoms you should:

  • Minimise head and body movements e.g. by sitting in the middle of the transport.
  • Get as much fresh air as you can e.g. open a window if possible.
  • Eat smaller meals whilst travelling.
  • Do not drink alcohol whilst travelling.
  • Fix your vision on a stable object e.g. the horizon.
  • Do not read or play games whilst travelling.
  • Closing your eyes may help reduce symptoms.
  • Relax and stay calm - although this is easier said than done, worrying about travel sickness can in fact make symptoms worse.

Causes

When the body is experiencing motion, the fluid inside the vestibular system (which is responsible for balance) changes position, which is transmitted to the brain, so the brain can determine how fast and where you are moving, allowing the body to maintain balance. When you are travelling, your vestibular senses are telling your brain that you are sitting still, whilst your eyes are telling your brain that you are moving, which confuses the body's senses and causes travel sickness. Travel sickness occurs when you are travelling most of the time, however, it can also occur whilst watching certain movies or playing computer games. The realistic graphics can also confuse the body's senses, causing travel sickness.

Treatments

There are a number of medical treatments available for travel sickness here at ashcroft pharmacy. However, acupressure bands may also be something you would like to try and they can be purchased from most pharmacies. Acupressure bands are worn around the wrist and are designed to apply pressure to a certain point inside of your wrist, which is supposed to reduce travel sickness symptoms. There are no side effects from acupressure bands, however there is little evidence that they are effective. 

Symptoms

The main symptom of travel sickness is nausea and a general feeling of being unwell. Other symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Cold sweat
  • Pale skin
  • Increased saliva production

Symptoms in more severe cases include:

  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Rapid, shallow breathing

FAQ

  • How can I prevent travel sickness?

    To prevent or reduce travel sickness symptoms you should:

    • Minimise head and body movements e.g. by sitting in the middle of the transport.
    • Get as much fresh air as you can e.g. open a window if possible.
    • Eat smaller meals whilst travelling.
    • Do not drink alcohol whilst travelling.
    • Fix your vision on a stable object e.g. the horizon.
    • Do not read or play games whilst travelling.
    • Closing your eyes may help reduce symptoms.
    • Relax and stay calm - although this is easier said than done, worrying about travel sickness can in fact make symptoms worse.

  • Does ginger tea stop travel sickness?

    Ginger in the form of tea, biscuits or supplements is widely used to treat nausea, which includes travel sickness. This may work for you, however, there is little scientific evidence for ginger being an effective treatment for travel sickness.

  • Do acupressure bands work for travel sickness?

    Acupressure bands are worn around the wrist and are designed to apply pressure to a certain point inside of your wrist, which is supposed to reduce travel sickness symptoms. There are no side effects from acupressure bands, however there is little evidence that they are effective.

  • Can anyone suffer from travel sickness?

    Yes, anyone can suffer from travel sickness. However, groups that are more susceptible to suffering from travel sickness are children, pregnant women, people with certain medical conditions or people on certain types of medication.

  • Is travel sickness a serious condition?

    Travel sickness can be annoying and inconvenient. However, it is just temporary whilst your body is in motion and it does not cause long term health problems.

  • Can travel sickness be cured?

    Unfortunately, travel sickness cannot be completely cured. However, the symptoms are easily manageable and preventable. You should only consider medical treatment after trying non-medical measures.

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