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Sickness remedies, tips and theories.

Years ago while motoring through the New York Class B in a Mooney, I turned around to find my motion sickness-prone wife slouched down, eyes closed and head resting 90 degrees on the rear sidewall. Just as I was thinking it wasn't the ideal seating position she authoritatively christened the Mooney's fabric seats. Yes, I failed to brief her on where the relief bag was. That forever changed my approach to passenger briefings and air sickness preparedness, which should include at least some advice and tips for keeping it together.

First, posture. I asked Dr. Brent Blue if seating position makes a difference in fighting motion sickness and according to him, it certainly does play a role. "Head position definitely can have an effect on air sickness because it has to do with the orientation of the semicircular canals in the inner ear," he told me. If you can seat a passenger up front, those who suffer from motion sickness might do better because there's less yaw effect and better visibility, Blue suggested. Supplemental oxygen, plus scopolamine patches applied at least an hour prior to flight, can help too. For some, ginger may help.

To supplement the ReliefBand report, I had Sporty's send other remedies from its inventory of sickness products, including the $10 QueaseEase product, which I also spotted in a few drugstores. The inexpensive QueaseEase is drug free and contains a blend of natural essential oils including ginger, peppermint, spearmint and lavender. The recipe is stored in a convenient cylinder with a twist cap (see the image below) that releases the scent. According to the company, the molecules from the inhaled oil scent travel to the central nervous system where they break the queasiness cycle. Passengers liked its odor.

As for medicine, there are none that I know of that are legal to use while PIC. For passengers, Zofran is said to be a good anti-nausea/vomiting med if taken prior to exposure.

As for pilots like me who battle nausea during aerobatics. Brent Blue is convinced the ReliefBand can "unlearn" motion sickness. The theory is that unlike millennials who grew up with modern car seats that enable vision out the front and sides of the vehicle, my motion sickness was learned in the bad old days before car seats. Regardless, the key is to have a solid plan in place should you or your passengers fall ill.

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Publication:The Aviation Consumer
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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