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1 year ago
3 Easy Tricks to Beat Motion Sickness

Motion sickness can throw a real wrench into your travel plans. And once it strikes, it feels like nothing can provide you the quick relief you need from feeling nauseous, dizzy, and downright terrible. Soon, that may no longer be the case.

NASA is working with California-based startup Epiomed Therapeutics to develop a new medication to treat motion sickness.

The nasal spray, called intranasal scopolamine (INSCOP for short), has been shown to be faster acting and more effective than when administered as a pill, according to a press release from NASA. Scopolamine, the nausea-fighting drug used in the nasal spray, is currently typically administered as a patch.

But why do astronauts—and Earth dwellers—get unsettling motion sickness in the first place?

“Motion is sensed by the brain through four means: the inner ear, the eyes, and skin and joint sensory receptors throughout the body,” says Keri Peterson, M.D. internal medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City and Women's Health advisor. “When the signals from each of these does not match—for example if you are in the cabin of the boat and your inner ear senses motion but your eyes do not see motion, then the brain perceives a discrepancy in signals and you can get motion sickness.”

With the floating and bouncing around that astronauts do in space, it makes sense that these confusing signals can trigger stomach-churning and light-headed responses. But you don’t have to be space-bound to be hit with head-spinning motion sickness symptoms.

Fortunately, while INSCOP isn’t available to the public (yet), there are other ways to keep your wits about you (and your food down) the next time choppy water, air turbulence, or an out-of-control cab driver gives you a case of the spins. Try these three tips:

Seat yourself wisely “Always ride where your eyes will see the same motion that your ears and body feel,” says Peterson. So in a car, ride in the front seat; on a boat, position yourself on the deck and keep your eyes on the horizon; on an airplane, try to score a window seat over the wing of the plane, she suggests.

Grab a fan Direct a stream of fresh air at your face, if you can. Though there’s no documented medical reason behind this strategy, it’s possible that makes you feel better because it lowers your body temperature, says Peterson. Hey, worth a try.

Get medical Peterson also recommends Dramamine or scopolamine patches to nix the nausea, dizziness, and vomiting that result from motion sickness.

photo: Pixland/Thinkstock

More from WH:
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The Scary New Health Risk in Your 20s, 30s, and 40s
The Best Supplements for Dizziness

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