7 Ways to Avoid Motion Sickness

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  • By Robin Westen

    Do you suffer with motion sickness when you’re in the car, on a plane or even on a boat? Well, you’re not alone. About 33% of people are susceptible to motion sickness. As if we have to remind you, the symptoms are nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and a general sense of feeling off your game. But there are ways to lessen or even eliminate motion sickness. Try these tips:

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  • Be Picky About Where You Sit . Choose a seat where you’ll experience the least amount of motion. The middle of an airplane over the wing is the smoothest area. On a ship, those in lower-level cabins near the center of a ship generally experience less motion than passengers in higher or outer cabins. If you’re a passenger in a car, ride in the front seat, not the back. Avoid sitting backwards from the direction in which you’re traveling.
  • Don't Read Even though it might cut the boredom factor, reading can increase motion sickness. Save your book for when you’re stationary. Try listening to soothing music.
  • Fix Your Gaze If you’re going by car or boat, keep your gaze on the horizon or fixed point. Try to avoid watching other cars speed by or the waves as they roll along the side of the ship.
  • Air It Out Open a window or vent and let in the fresh air.
  • Avoid Other Sufferers Yes, misery loves company – but not in this case. Just seeing someone else experience motion sickness, or hearing them talk about it, will boost your own symptoms.
  • Try Medication Speak with your pharmacist about remedies that are available without prescriptions. Many have been proven effective although they may cause drowsiness or interfere with other medications. There are also prescription medications such as a patch. Ask your doctor about options before your departure.

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    About the Author

    Robin Westen is ThirdAge's Medical Director. Her latest book, co-authored with Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina."