Avoid Travel Sickness : Enjoy Your Travel

Avoid Travel Sickness : Enjoy Your Travel

Authored by DesiMD Team

The year-end festival season is here and it’s time to celebrate. Holidays are part of this season and many of us take the time off to travel for celebrations or for a relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

With traveling comes a caveat - to be aware of the illnesses that make us vulnerable to diseases. Allergies, common cold, flu, malaria, skin problems that are some of the common conditions that are observed.

Protection: In some instances vaccines can help protect us from illnesses however it is important to do a good research of the place you are visiting before you travel. Find out the weather conditions, common health problems or prevalence of any infectious diseases in that region and also the availability of medical facilities. Tourism or health department can be a good source of information with regard to any health advisory released in the recent past.

Health conditions during travel: Apart from various health problems which may come up while travelling, a specific disorder called ‘Travel sickness’ or ‘Motion sickness’, is observed during the travel or immediately after the journey. Travel sickness is characterized by nausea (feeling of vomiting), actual vomiting, giddiness, weakness etc. In many cases the affected individual cannot continue the journey and may have to be hospitalized. The sickness can occur by any mode of travel i.e. Car, Bus, Train, Airplane, Ship (“sea sickness”) etc. Children between the age of 4 and 12 years are prone to develop travel sickness. They can become rapidly dehydrated due to vomiting and should therefore receive medical care immediately.

Causes of travel sickness: The cause is attributed to the conflicting sensory information that the brain receives from the inner ear, the eye and the muscles. The inner ear with its three semicircular canals filled with fluid and the vestibular nerve (“The Vestibular system”) plays a key role in the maintenance of the balance by coordinating with the brain.

Any imbalance is immediately corrected by repositioning the body relative to the movement. However, eyes and the muscles also send information to the brain regarding position and movement. If you try to read a book while traveling in a car and keep changing your gaze you are liable to experience a little giddiness or imbalance. In children the vestibular system is not fully developed making them vulnerable to travel sickness.

Observe caution and enjoy your travelling by preventing travel sickness.

Following are some prevention measures for travel sickness:


Precautions and measures to be taken to prevent / manage travel sickness:

Ø  Try to travel by a large vehicle like a bus or train rather than a car or van.


Ø  On short journeys, avoid taking any food or drink.


Ø  Position yourself in the middle of the vehicle where least motion is experienced.


Ø  Keep your head still and look out of the window frequently so that the eyes confirm thesensation of motion already detected by the inner ear and transmitted to the brain. If on a ship, coming out to the deck gives relief.


Ø  Keeping the eyes closed avoids the sensory input from the eyes and helps prevent travel sickness. Sleeping through the journey may thus be a good option to prevent travel sickness.


Ø  Lying on the back, pools the fluid inside the semicircular canals of the inner ear and helps prevent travel sickness.


Ø  Allow plenty of fresh air into the cabin by keeping the windows open.


Ø  There are some pills which help prevent travel sickness but are only effective if taken 6-12 hours before undertaking the journey. However they should be taken only after consulting a doctor.