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Any hope for motion sickness?

Babies to astronauts, many travelers can testify that motion sickness takes the fun out of nearly any kind of trip. The problem stems from sensory motor conflict: while your eyes and mind tell you you're moving one way, your inner ear says you're actually moving another.

Although many remedies can help, their effectiveness depends on how much motion you're subjected to.

Before any trip where motion sickness might be a problem--such as boat trips to view pelagic birds (see page 52)--get a good night's sleep and eat only light, non-greasy foods.

Underway, get plenty of fresh air. Look toward the horizon in the direction you're traveling, so you can anticipate the motion of road or water. On a boat, stand on deck, not in the cabin, and toward the middle, where motion is least.

Many people also find it helpful to east crackers, especially when they feel sick.

Research is continuing on drugs for motion sickness. The commonest nonprescription preventives, such as Bonine, Dramamine, and Marezine, are antihistamines. While they provide relief for most people, some are not recommended for young children or pregnent women; check package instructions.

Some drugs contain scopolamine, an anticholinergic. One, a nonprescription pill sold as Triptone, can take effect in 1 hour. The prescription form, called Transderm Scop, is a patch you put behind one ear (see photograph); it takes several hours to become effective.

Motion sickness medications can have side effects, such as drowsiness. Some experts recommend that you try any drug on land before a trip to see how you react. Read labels carefully, and consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have doubts. If unpleasant side effects occur, discontinue use of pills or remove the patch.
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Date:Sep 1, 1984
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