How to get over motion sickness
What to do when travelling makes you sick to your stomach.
Carsick, seasick, airsick. It doesn't matter how you experience it, any kind of sick can make travelling a misery. Mother-of-three Susie Anceschi knows this only too well after the big queasy wreaked havoc on a recent family trip to Italy.
“There are moments when you wonder if it’s worth going on holiday,” says the Melbourne dietitian and mother of three kids aged six, four and one. “We’d arrived in Italy to visit family and had been through two flights with two kids vomiting during every take-off and landing. Getting on a minibus after that second flight, I realised we’d run out of clean clothes and wipes. It was a bit of a nightmare."
But what, exactly, is motion sickness and why do we get it? We spoke to the experts to find out about the nauseating travel foe, and how to stop it from ruining your commute.
Eveything you need to know about motion sickness
So, what is motion sickness?
Also known as kinetosis, it’s a common reaction that happens when the brain receives conflicting information from the body. During a car ride, for example, if your inner ear senses motion but your eyes and body don’t see or feel the same movement, there’s a mismatch of brain messaging. This confusion can cause dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Who gets it?
Anyone can suffer from motion or travel sickness, but some people are particularly sensitive to it. Women are more likely to experience it than men, and twin studies have shown that there is a genetic component to the condition. Children between the ages of two and 12 are most likely to be affected. Fortunately, most kids eventually grow out of it.
“Driving on very windy roads and being in stop-start traffic definitely makes travel sickness worse for my kids,” says Susie. “Looking down at a book or a screen doesn’t help either. We try to drive with all the windows open for plenty of fresh air, and encourage the kids to look forward towards the horizon. Their seats need to be high enough so they can see out easily.”
Experts agree. Much of the traditional advice for motion sickness is centred around relaxed breathing and looking at fixed points, such as the road ahead in a car, or on land if you’re on a boat trip.