For many people, air sickness is a serious problem that affects them every time they go on an airplane. This page lists some of the ways in which people can help prevent themseleves from getting air sickness, or its effect:

  1. Causes
  2. Avoidance
  3. Medication
  4. In-Flight cure

 Causes

Air sickness occurs when your brain receives mixed messages, due to the fact that you appear to be moving and shaking in some ways, while in other ways you appear to be still.  Although this may be brought on in still, calm flying conditions, it is usually far worse in bumpy, turbulent conditions.  Fear of flying is also a major contributing factor to air/motion sickness.

Avoidance

Plan your flight times.  Early morning or late afternoon normally is less turbulent than other times of the day.  Depending on the season however, late afternoon may have other weather considertaions i.e. thunderstorms.

Do not eat a large meal before getting on the plane.  Eating a large meal just before your flight increases your chance of getting air sick.  Always eat a light meal before going on a flight.  Choices include crackers, a piece of fruit, olives or sucking on a lemon.

Try to avoid thinking about getting air sick.  If you do, you may convince yourself you are sick.

Try to stay in you seat as much as possible.  Sitting down in a chair means that sudden movements by the plane will affect you less.  As a result, less confusing messages will be sent to your brain, due to the fact that your body will not notice as much motion.

Avoid reading on the plane if it makes you feel sick.  Many people find that reading on the plane makes them feel sick.  As a result, you may want to avoid reading while in flight.  But for people that are not air sick, reading actually kills boredom.  If your going on a long flight the plane would usually have some sort of entertainment for example a personal television where you can play games, watch daily TV shows and recent movies.  Take advantage of this and get yourself interested in a movie or show, this way you'll forget your present place.

Try to sit near the front of the aircraft or near the wings.  Near the wings the plane is more stable, so there is less shaking to send your brain confusing signals.  If there is shaking, your brain may receive confusing signals due to the fact that your sight may not show movement, yet you can feel that you are moving.

Get used to motion before the flight.  Some people have stated that by taking part in activities such as jumping on a trampoline in the time before the flight, you may get more used to motion, and as a result not be affected by the sickness as much.  You will have to perform the motion based activity many times before you notice the effect, however.

Medication

Take medicine such as Dramamine or Bonine, 30 minutes before take off and landing.  

This is usually the worst part.  Medicines to prevent travel sickness work by preventing the confusing messages being sent to your brain.  Note that some medicines require a prescription (such as Scopolamine), although some are available over the counter (OTC).

You can also buy acupressure wristbands at your local pharmacy, although the evidence surrounding acupressures effectiveness is not entirely conclusive. 

Medication can give you side effects that could last for hours.  Consult a doctor before taking any medication, especially Scopolamine.

Use scopolamine patches

They are little patches you wear behind your ear, however, this is not used for children under 12.  Side effects may include drowsiness, dry mouth, and blurry vision.

In-Flight Cure

Keep in mind you can always take medication even after nausea sets in, it's still as safe and effective after symptoms set in as it is before they do.

Minimize visual activity. If you feel sick, close your eyes.

Improve ventilation, avoid irritating fumes.  Sometimes opening a window can help as a nausea remedy (not always applicable in airplanes!).

Keep as still as possible with your head back, and face into any available fresh air (from airvents etc).

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