Dr Luisa Dillner's guide to . . . travel sickness

I know it is Christmas and you have to visit the relatives but the only way to avoid travel sickness is not to travel.

✤ It is most common in children (many grow out of it) and is caused by your eyes telling you one thing and the balancing system in your ears telling you something else. Put more complexly the vestibular system in your inner ear cannot understand the visual clues it is getting. This makes you feel sick, be sick, pale and clammy and gives you a headache.

✤ We've tried acupressure wristbands at our house, for which I can't find any evidence of effectiveness but they're unlikely to do any harm. Ginger is often recommended but there's no evidence that works either.

✤ Antihistamines (ask your pharmacist) may help but must be taken at least an hour before travel and make you drowsy. Hyoscine is a more heavy-duty drug which blocks the disorientating effects of the vestibular system. You can take it as a tablet or skin patch, but it can cause dizziness and drowsiness and is not suitable for children.

✤ Simple things such as sitting by the window looking at the distance may help. Do not read books, watch videos, or play on a games console. Listening to story tapes is a good alternative. Do open a window.

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.


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