How To Deal With Motion Sickness - A Sufferer's POV

in StemSocial2 months ago

My parents used to make a joke about how I'm allergic to the luxury of owning a car because I can barely breathe in one. Growing up, I entered my dad's car mostly on Sundays to church and it was my longest ride of the week. When in the car, I'd be very uncomfortable and feel sick. I couldn't explain it, all I knew was with the windows up and the AC on, I always felt my eyes get heavy, struggle with breathing and I'd have serious nausea.


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Dreamstime

I had several hypotheses as to why it was happening, the following was my list of maybes.

Maybe I was allergic to the car interior

The car interior was mostly made of leather and plastic and I experienced the same feelings when I was in other cars with this same type of interior. I hated the smell of new leather and plastic by the way.

Maybe it was the AC vent

I had read about mold allergies and how a mix of warm and cold air could cause the growth of mold in AC vents. I know most people do not clean out their car AC vents so I thought maybe there was mold and I had mold allergies. I had two symptoms peculiar to mold allergies- shortness of breath and chest tightening.

Maybe it was the air freshener

My incessant complaints made my dad stop buying air fresheners for the car, I couldn't stand them and always got a headache when it was in use.

Maybe it was motion sickness

Specifically, car sickness. This seemed like the most likely reason because all of my symptoms were that of motion sickness. I applied some tips I found for dealing with motion sickness that has been of great help over the years.

What Is Motion Sickness?

According to Healthline,

Motion sickness is a sensation of wooziness. It usually occurs when you’re traveling by car, boat, plane, or train. Your body’s sensory organs send mixed messages to your brain, causing dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea. Some people learn early in their lives that they’re prone to the condition.

Basically, with motion sickness, your sensory organs become overwhelmed and face difficulty relaying information about your movement to your brain. Now your brain can't really tell if you're moving or stationary and this sends your system in a frenzy, hence, the symptoms that immediately follow. It is a common ailment that dates back in time.

High school biology teaches us that our inner ears control balance and the vestibular system comprising of the semicircular canals, saccule, and utricle is what makes this possible. This system relays information to the brain of things happening around us.

The semicircular canals hold a fluid that moves with the turns of your head. The saccule and utricle are sensitive to gravity. They tell the brain whether you’re standing up or lying down. - WebMD.

Sometimes the brain confuses all of these signals as your body feels one thing, and your eyes say another. Anyone can experience motion sickness and it is not contagious.

Symptoms

There are several symptoms of motion sickness common to most sufferers and they are usually immediate.

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Cold sweat
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Trouble maintaining balance

Diagnosis

Motion sickness needs no professional diagnosis as the symptoms are very clear and people who experience it know when it's about to begin.

I get car sick every time but I have never gotten airplane sick. My mum gets boat sick but not car sick. There's no study to the best of my knowledge of motion sickness being hereditary. I have never been a boat but the one time I looked at a large body of moving water, staring at one spot, I lost my balance and felt lightheaded.

Treatment

I've read about drugs like scopolamine that help with preventing the onset of the symptoms of motion sickness. I don't see the need to take a drug each time I want to ride in a car so I prefer sticking with other preventive measures instead.

Prevention

Gradually, I was able to note the triggers of my motion sickness and found ways to deal with them. I still get car sick but I don't suffer as much as I used to anymore. These are my tips that work (car sickness only);

  • Stay away from the back seat. On days when I sat at the front seat, I noticed I felt way better. The explanation for this is that while at the front, you mostly look ahead and your focus is stationary. Unlike when you're at the back seat and can only look sideways. The movement of everything as you stare through the window confuses your balance and your body can't tell if it's you moving or not. This causes a stress release that presents as all of the symptoms experienced.

  • Do not try to use your phone or read. This is like an instant trigger for symptoms. I try as much as possible to not use my phone or read a book because I immediately get nauseous doing that.

  • Stay hydrated. Drinking water helps alleviate the symptoms so always have a bottle handy.

  • Open the windows. For my sake, the windows have to go down when I can't bear it anymore. Fresh air is always a relief and I can breathe better with the windows down.

  • Lie down. You can lie down or try to rest your head especially if you sit at the back. This helps the body gain a bit of balance again.

All these work for me and I'm open to other remedies except using drugs. I read about home remedies like peppermint and ginger and also, avoiding alcohol if you intend to travel long distances. There are also glasses made for people with motion sickness and if I ever come across one, I don't mind giving it a try.

Do you suffer motion sickness or know anyone who does?

REFERENCES

https://www.healthline.com/health/motion-sickness#causes

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/ear-infection/motion-sickness

Discord - wolfofnostreet#4939
Twitter - @wolfofnostreet_

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The first time I heard of motion sickness was when I was working as a pharmacy trainee a few years back. I think there is this particular drug that works quite well. I can't really recall the name now but I am quite certain it is not scopolamine.

Promethazine or dimenhydrinate maybe?

I often taught that it was petroleum allergy and was advised to drink a little of it so my system can get accustomed to it.
I don't eat for every journey I partake to avoid vomiting.
Its often a fasting journey

Sorry. I think petrol smell triggers it too.

I have never been a boat but the one time I looked at a large body of moving water, staring at one spot, I lost my balance and felt lightheaded

Wow just looking at large living water got you sick, I might have heard about this motion sick but I never knew it was this serious.

For me, never used water before but mere knowing that in a journey, I will be traveling through water gives me goosebumps and I immediately back down but I don't think it is motion sickness, I think it is a phobia.

Thank you for this knowledge.

Does this mean you don't swim or won't attempt swimming?

I actually don't know this is true. Because I do hear people saying it..

Lol...it's hard to believe right? My parents didn't understand it until the day I opened the door and vomit.

Yeah actually I have never for once believed it at all because when they say it I do think it was a lie or a framing thing.. wow! That's so serious so you are a living testimony I guess and you made me believe now

Hi wolfofnostreet,

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All my family and extended family suffer this

Including you?

Yes.. Mine is worst, I usually buy disposable bag for a every journey so i can throw up in it.

Awww...sorry about that.

I do have motion sickness too.
Sometimes all I do is just sleep.
If you tend to travel on a road where there's pollution, put on your car air conditioner and ensure that it is set to recycle air, so that you do not breathe in pollutants from outside. Smoke and dust can worsen he nausea in motion sickness.

Asides scopolamine, one could also use Promethazine or Metoclopramide.
These medications are however best prescribed by a doctor.