Motion sickness pills and other solutions

2022-05-14 22:07:13 By : Ms. Angelia Zhang

Never suffer from motion sickness again

If you’re among the one in three people who experience motion sickness, you’re well aware how agonizing its effects can be: nausea, vomiting, and headaches, just to name a few. Motion sickness can strike whether you're traveling by car, tour bus, airplane, or cruise ship — and it has the power to wreak havoc on any journey, from a weekend road trip to a long-awaited family vacation.

Motion sickness results from a disconnect between the motion-sensing parts of your body — including your eyes, inner ear, muscles, and joints — and the actual movement of your surroundings. When there’s conflicting sensory information (i.e., you’re sitting on a bus staring at the seat in front of you, but the vehicle is careening along a winding country road), your brain doesn’t know how to distinguish whether you’re stationary or actually moving. The result? Nausea (and possibly vomiting), headaches, and dizziness. 

But planes, trains, and automobiles aren’t the only triggers for motion sickness. Playing video games, watching certain movies (especially up-close in the theater), or wearing a virtual reality headset can also cause it. “Anything that throws you off visually from what you're actually doing has the potential to cause some motion sickness,” explains Kathryn Boling, M.D., a primary care physician with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, M.D.

Certain demographics of people — children aged 2-12 years and women, especially those who are pregnant — are more susceptible to motion sickness. Along with a genetic influence at play, people who suffer from migraines and ear disorders also are at higher risk of motion sickness, according to Joel Warsh, M.D., a holistic and integrative pediatrician based in Los Angeles.

And in certain environments with significant movement, such as a cruise ship or ferry in rough seas or a turbulent flight, almost everyone will experience some degree of motion sickness, says Dr. Boling, “unless you have a cast-iron stomach.” 

People prone to motion sickness may want to consider getting a prescription prior to traveling for a scopolamine patch, which is placed on the back of the ear and replaced every three days. Scopolamine, which works by blocking the effects of a certain natural substance called acetylcholine on the central nervous system, is effective for most people (and as common on many cruises as fanny packs).

With summer travel on the horizon, here are a few more options to help ward off motion sickness and make sure your trip is smooth sailing (or flying or driving).

Sea Bands acupressure wristbands; from $7.28/pair

The science linking acupressure, the practice of applying pressure to specific points on the body known as acupoints, as an antidote to motion sickness is still fuzzy. But devoted customers (more than 22,000 Amazon ratings, 61% percent of which are five stars) of these fabric elastic wristbands swear by their effectiveness. A small plastic stud is stitched into each band that users position on the Nei-Kuan acupoint, as it’s known in traditional Chinese medicine, on the wrist, which is believed to help ward off (and alleviate) motion sickness. Users also claim the bands work well against motion sickness and nausea that can result from 3D video games, pregnancy, vertigo, and chemotherapy; many recommend wearing them before the onset of motion sickness. Sea-Bands come in kid’s sizes, too. 

Dramamine, from $3.92 (for travel pack)

The OG of OTC anti-motion sickness meds remains a favorite, now with plenty more options available than when it first hit the market more than 70 years ago; so many, in fact, that Dramamine has its own Amazon store. Customers can choose from a handy travel pack of the original formula that’s not much bigger than a tube of lipstick; the long-lasting version (perfect for that epic summer road trip); and the extremely popular no-drowsy and less-drowsy formulas. There’s also one just for kids, which is a chewable, grape-flavored tablet safe for ages 2-12 (though the CDC recommends trying a test dose at home first to make sure there are no adverse side effects).  

Mommabear Nausea and Motion sickness lollipops, $15.49

These tasty treats by women-led startup Mommabear, which specializes in homeopathic and natural products, are perfect for pint-sized passengers. An all-natural remedy designed to ward off motion sickness (and ease discomfort if it hits), the all-natural pops are made with lemon, honey, and ginger. They’re also free of gluten, nuts, high-fructose corn syrup, and dairy, making them an excellent choice for little ones with allergies and dietary restrictions. 

Hion Anti-Motion Sickness Smart Glasses, $26.99

These goofy-looking glasses are sure to elicit stares — but fans claim they do the trick to combat motion sickness. The lens-free frames, two in front and one on each side, contain a blue liquid that moves along with the movement of the vehicle or vessel, creating an artificial horizon in your field of vision that manufacturers claim can help make the motion perceived by your eyes consistent with the motion perceived by your inner ear, thus helping reduce (or eliminate) nausea. Users should feel the benefits within about 10 minutes of wearing the glasses, which are recommended for use while looking horizontally (versus, say, looking down while reading). Several companies have entered this niche market in recent years, including French car manufacturer Citroën, whose glasses retail for about $108 US.

Designed by a board-certified gastroenterologist, these drops offer a quick fix for queasy tummies on long car rides. They’re certified USDA organic and come in a range of flavors, from less intense (sweet lychee peppermint, peppermint cream) to intense (fresh crushed peppermint, spice-intense ginger). Stash a few in your glovebox, backpack, or purse to have on-hand as needed, and stock up with a 33-piece bag (or two) for longer trips. You can take up to a dozen a day (but be sure to keep them away from toddlers, as they’re a choking hazard for kiddos under three).