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Here's how to beat motion sickness on your next trip

Motion sickness is a disorder of balance, equilibrium and spatial orientation caused by repeated movements. [iStockphoto]

Ever experienced an uneasy feeling of nausea, dizziness, or general body weakness when travelling by car, boat, train or airplane?

Motion sickness can strike at any time, whether you’re admiring the scenery, reading your favorite book, snacking, having a meal or just enjoying the ride. In severe cases, it can lead to vomiting.

According to Joseph Kioko, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinician, motion sickness is a disorder of balance, equilibrium and spatial orientation caused by repeated movements.

“It occurs when the movement a person sees doesn’t match their inner ear senses. Although anyone can experience it -- children and pregnant women are more vulnerable,” Kioko explains.

Studies suggest nearly a third of people who ride in automobiles experience motion sickness. It is caused by a conflict between the vestibular, visual and proprioceptive systems. While it’s not considered a severe condition, it can make traveling an unpleasant experience.

Here are some tips to help combat motion sickness on your next trip:

- Breathing techniques: Practice slow, deep breaths to calm your system and keep fresh air flowing.

- Seating and head position: Grab yourself the front seat or window seat and look outside. Keep your head still in a car. Avoid reading or using gadgets while travelling. You may prefer to close your eyes and rest to reduce the sensation of movement.

- Avoid triggers: Stay away from strong odours, spicy foods and alcohol. Avoid overeating before and during travel and stay hydrated with water.

- Add ginger to your snack pack: Some people find that ginger helps alleviate motion sickness. Try ginger biscuits or sweets.

- Seek professional help: If symptoms persist, consult a doctor for possible medication or cognitive behavioral therapy to build confidence and reduce anxiety associated with travel.

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