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Medical Content Writer
Updated: 5th July 2018

What Causes Motion Sickness and Can It Be Cured?

How motion sickness works

 

You’re ready for your holiday, can’t wait to get away to somewhere sunny, somewhere relaxing, somewhere you’ve never been before.

 

But wait. There’s one thing looming over your trip that you just can’t shake and that’s travel sickness.

 

You know that the moment you sit down in the car or step onto a boat or a plane you’ll feel the nausea start to set in and your trip will already be off to a bad start.

 

Well, stop your worrying because we’ve put together this guide to all things travel sickness so you can leave the nausea behind at the airport!

 

 

What is motion sickness?

 

Motion sickness, also known as travel sickness, car sickness, or sea sickness, is when you start to feel nauseous and may even throw up when you’re travelling by car, airplane, or boat.

 

It mostly happens when you’re going on long journeys, so you’re particularly vulnerable when you’re going away on holiday, but it can happen on shorter trips too.

 

Motion sickness typically doesn’t affect those younger than 2 or older than 50, so if you’re a 40-something who’s struggling with travel sickness, you’ll be glad to know that the end could be in sight!

 

So, what causes these bouts of nausea and vomiting when you’re on the move? Let’s find out…

 

 

What causes motion sickness?

 

In it’s very simplest terms, motion sickness happens when your eyes and your inner ear tell your brain two different things.

 

When you’re struggling with car sickness, your eyes tell your brain that you’re sat still with the world going past your window, meanwhile your inner ears say that they’re experiencing all of the little bumps and repeated movements that go with travelling by road.

 

Your brain gets both of these messages at once and doesn’t know what to do, so its response is to tell your body to feel sick and throw up. Thanks brain, you’re a real friend.

 

 

Travel sickness remedies

 

Luckily, there are many different travel sickness remedies that can help to keep your brain’s confusion under control while you travel.

 

Many of these products help to block signals that are sent the vomiting centre of the brain when you experience travel sickness. This helps to relieve your nausea so you can get on with your trip.

 

There are a few different remedies you can try, so let’s take a look at each one in turn and see how they can help.

 

Motion Sickness Tablets

 

The most popular way to treat travel sickness is travel sickness tablets. All you have to do is take the recommended dose before you travel and you’ll be prepared to take on your journey.

 

Some of the most popular kinds of travel sickness tablets are Kwells, Avomine, and Stugeron, which are all perfect for tackling travel sickness on land, on sea, or in the air.

 

If you’re travelling by plane, you can take as many tablets with you as you need for your entire journey in your hand luggage, so you know you’ll be nausea-free for your entire trip.

 

Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Kwells Travel Sickness - 12 Tablets
£5.99
Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Avomine Travel Sickness 25mg (Promethazine) - 10 Tablets
RRP :£2.30£3.49
Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Stugeron 15mg Travel Sickness (Cinnarizine) - 15 Tablets
RRP :£3.65£3.59

 

Motion Sickness Medicine

 

If you’re not a fan of taking tablets or just prefer liquid medicine, we’d recommend Phenergan Elixir as your travel sickness remedy of choice.

 

It works in the same way your travel sickness tablets do, blocking messages to the vomit centre of your brain, so it’s just as effective at keeping nausea at bay.

 

If you’re travelling by plane, you’ll need to follow the airport guidelines about how much liquid medicine you can take on a plane.

 

For more information about that, why not check out our travelling with medication guide, which will tell you everything you need to know about which medicines you can take in your hand luggage, and how much.

 

 

Motion Sickness Bands

 

Our final option for motion sickness relief is the travel sickness wristband. These bracelets work using acupressure rather than medication, making them perfect for those who are looking for a natural solution, are pregnant, or are allergic to typical travel sickness remedies.

 

If you’re pregnant, you may also find that your travel sickness wristband won’t just help to relieve your motion sickness, they can help to keep morning sickness at bay too!

 

Sea-Band travel sickness wristbands are all washable and reusable, so you can take them on all of your long journeys and won’t have to worry if you accidentally spill your disgusting in-flight meal on one of them.

 

Sea-Band Travel Sickness Wristbands - One Size
RRP :£8.59£6.75
Sea-Band Mama! Morning Sickness Wrist Band
RRP :£8.49£6.49

 

My child has travel sickness, what can I do to help?

 

When your little one has motion sickness it can ruin their whole holiday, so any parent looking to enjoy their family trip would be looking for a way to keep the vomiting to a minimum.

 

There are a couple of travel sickness remedies that will work for kids, including Kwells Kids, which are travel sickness tablets that can be taken by children as young as 4.

 

Another popular option is Phenergan Elixir, which can be taken by children as young as 2 so you can relax knowing that everyone in the family is ready for a nausea-free holiday.

 

Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Kwells for Kids Travel Sickness - 12 Tablets
RRP :£2.99£2.99
Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Phenergan Elixir (5mg/5ml Promethazine) Sugar Free Oral Solution - 100ml
£5.99
Sea-Band Wrist Bands For Children
RRP :£8.59£6.75

 

Are there any home remedies for motion sickness?

 

There aren’t many home remedies for travel sickness, but there is one that is surprisingly popular. If you’re looking for a natural way to keep the vomiting at bay, try using ginger.

 

You can take ginger as a tablet, drink it in tea, or even eat a ginger biscuit, just get some of that lovely ginger into your system somehow and you might just find that your stomach has settled.

 

 

What else can I do to prevent travel sickness?

 

There are a couple of other little tips and tricks you can try to keep your travel sickness to a minimum.

 

For example, you should try not to read or use electronic devices like your phone or tablet while you’re travelling, as this can make your motion sickness worse.

 

Try getting some fresh air if you can, open the car window, close your eyes, and take some slow deep breaths. This will help to keep your nausea under control.

 

If your child is struggling with motion sickness, try to keep them distracted by talking to them, listening to some fun music or an audiobook, or singing some of their favourite songs together. This will help them to have a much more pleasant journey.

 

Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Numark Travel Sickness Relief 25mg Promethazine - 10 Tablets
RRP :£1.50£1.50
Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Avomine Travel Sickness 25mg (Promethazine) - 28 Tablets
RRP :£5.95£4.99
Only available from a registered pharmacy.
Stugeron 15mg (Cinnarizine) - 100 Tablets
£7.99

 

Now we know everything there is to know about travel sickness and how we can unpack it from our travel bag and leave it at the airport.

 

If you’re about to go on the trip of a lifetime and aren’t sure which travel sickness remedy would be the best for you, why not give our friendly Chemist 4 U pharmacists a call?

 

We’ll be happy to help you choose the best travel sickness treatment possible, so you can concentrate on enjoying your trip. Now get out there and travel!

 

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