I travel regularly by bus and often find some of my travel mates are vomiting 20-30 minutes after commencing the journey. It is really cumbersome for the other passengers but unfortunately it is irresistible by the victims. This condition we designate as the motion sickness.
Very simply motion sickness means nausea, vomiting caused by motion, especially by travelling in a vehicle. More scientifically we can say — motion sickness is a sensation of wooziness. Our body's sensory organs send mixed messages to the brain causing dizziness, lightheadedness, or nausea. Some people learn early in their lives that they are prone to the condition. Children and women are more prone to develop motion sickness. A person with motion sickness may become pale or complain of a headache.
Any form of travel on land, in the air, or on the water, can bring the uneasy feeling of motion sickness. Sometimes, amusement rides can induce motion sickness. It has been observed that people who develop motion sickness while travelling by bus, do not develop so while travelling by train. So train journey is safer and comfortable for the motion sickness victims.
Sometimes window seats helps them to prevent the sickness. On boats, or buses sit in the front and try to avoid facing backward. On a ship, ask for a cabin at water level and close to the front or the middle of the vessel. Open a vent for a source of fresh air if possible, and avoid reading.
It is important to get plenty of rest the night before travelling and avoid drinking alcohol or consuming heavy food. Some drugs like promethazine, domperidone, ondansetron, cetirizine etc. may be taken at least one hour before travel, which may prevent motion sickness.
The author is a Professor of Paediatrics at Community Based Medical College (CBMC), Mymensingh.