Repelling the barf attack


It can make summer travelling a misery for sufferers and families alike. Motion sickness is a disturbance of the sense of balance and equilibrium as a result of different kinds of motion.

For example, if you are sitting in a moving car reading a book, your inner ear detects the motion of your travel, but your eyes see only the stationary pages of your book. This confuses your central nervous system and brings on nausea.

Treatments, both for before the trip or during the journey, vary enormously.

Some swear by over-the-counter medications and treatments: patches, tablets and acupressure handbands. A consumer magazine survey found people had varying success with the products.

Other practical ideas include letting the sufferer have the front seat, watching the horizon, not reading, and taking sips of water.

It may be helpful to lie down and sip water until your stomach settles. Going to sleep, if you can, may also help.

Some people find ginger (available in capsule form) and peppermints useful in alleviating nausea caused by motion sickness.

If you are prone to motion sickness or if you are suffering from it, try the following:

* Position yourself where your eyes will see the same motion that your body and inner ears feel. In a car, sit in the front seat and look at distant scenery through the front window, not at objects passing on the side. On a ship, go on deck and watch the horizon. In a plane, choose a window seat and look outside.

* Position yourself for the least amount of movement.

* Don't read or do other close work.

* Don't sit facing away from the direction of movement.

* Try to get fresh air - keep the car window open; go on deck on a ship.

* Avoid spicy or greasy foods, alcohol and carbonated foods during your trip and 24 hours before.

* Eat light meals before or during travel.