Motion sickness on an airplane is caused by mixed signals reaching your brain from your inner ear, which tells you that you are moving and your eyes perceive that you are actually sitting still.
Although your brain may be able to handle quadratic equations, the organ may go haywire in response to conflicting information from your senses. As a result, you may have headaches, nausea, and that hot, sweaty feeling that indicates something must be wrong, because airplane cabin thermostats are usually set to cold-enough-to-hang-meet.
About one-quarter of passengers get airsick. According to a study. The feeling is arguably more painful than carsickness because, after all, an airplane passenger can’t pull over and wait for the wave of nausea to pass. (Though seasickness is still undoubtedly the worst.)
For air travelers prone to motion sickness, here are some tips from medical experts to prevent or at least minimize the need to reach for that barf bag.
Pick a seat on the wing
If you have a ticket type that allows you to select your seat in advance, go up a wing because, As the Mayo Clinic explains, where you will experience the lowest speed. Better to sit by the window than the aisle so you can try to steady yourself by looking at the horizon if needed.
Watch what you eat and drink before and during the flight
Recommends Mount Sinai Avoid things that are hard on your stomach the day before travel, such as alcohol and large, fatty or spicy foods. You don’t want to overtax your digestive system before you even get on the plane.
As for flight time, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises: People who tend to be airsick should limit alcoholic and caffeinated beverages. Drink plenty of water instead. Caffeine-free carbonated drinks like club soda and ginger ale can help settle your stomach. For snacks, stick to dry crackers and other simple fare.
Keep your head as still as possible by leaning back against the headrest. If you’re starting to feel icky, the UK’s National Health Service recommends Close your eyes and focus on your breathing (Thought of England optional). Point the overhead air vent to the right of your face.
Reading and fiddling around with personal electronic devices is responsible for making you feel bad. It might be wise to preprogram an airsickness playlist on your phone so you can listen to something soothing or distracting while you sit there with your eyes closed and wait for your misery to end. Maybe stay away from songs about food, rowdy boats or heady roller coasters that are about first love.
Try an alternative remedy
Ginger, in lozenges, hard candy and supplement form, is an old-fashioned answer to upset stomachs. Similarly for The acupressure point known as P-6 is where the pressure is appliedA scar on your arm about three finger widths from your wrist.
Some people swear by them Travel wristbands are designed to be pressed on the spot To prevent or ease motion sickness. Other types of bracelets, like ReliefbandEmits barely perceptible electrical impulses to stop bad sensations.
If you are chronically plagued by airsickness, you may want to try an alternative solution. What do you have to lose? (Your lunch, that’s what. So a wrist strap.)
If those don’t work, there are over-the-counter and prescription medications
The most common over-the-counter medications for nausea are: Dramamine And bonin, both are antihistamines. They can be effective, but some formulations can make you drowsy. And remember that you need to take them well before your flight because they won’t work immediately.
Recommended by physicians at the Travelers Clinic at UC Davis Health Those with a history of severe motion sickness should take the medication an hour before travel, but consult the instructions on the pills you buy to get the correct timing. If you have liver impairment, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and certain other conditions, talk to your doctor first. Ask about safety and dosage in children as well.
For those who still need relief from motion sickness, doctors can prescribe scopolamine. It comes in a circular patch worn behind the ear.