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Managing Airsickness

Airsickness refers to a type of motion sickness that occurs when the body, eyes, and components of the inner ear send conflicting messages to the brain. Symptoms begin when the body and inner ear sense motion that the eyes cannot see. Individuals typically experience nausea and possibly vomiting along with dizziness and perspiration. The severity of the affliction often correlates with the amount of turbulence that the plane endures. A few precautionary measures may help inhibit symptoms.

Herbal Preparations
Some recommend drinking two to four cups of herbal tea 24 hours before a flight. Common herbs used for airsickness include black horehound, ginger, or peppermint. Use one teaspoon of dried herbs or one to two milliliters of extract for every cup of hot water. Dosages for ginger in capsule form entail taking up to 1,000 milligrams before boarding the plane. If you prefer taking ginger, exercise caution if also taking anticoagulant medications that include aspirin or warfarin, as the herb increases bleeding time. Black horehound interacts with various Parkinson’s medications.

Oriental alternative medicine holds to the philosophy that illness occurs when the natural energy flow becomes blocked somewhere in the body. In the case of motion sickness, acupressure specialists claim that area lies in the wrist region. With a palm facing upward, find the crease between the wrist and the palm of the hand. Measure three finger widths back from this location. The Inner Gate, also known as the Pericardium 6 or P6 point lies here between the two lower arm bones. Apply firm, direct pressure and stroke forward toward the palm. Repeat this action for three minutes.

Several manufacturers also make acupressure bands. The bands use electricity, pressure or both to trigger the P6 wrist point. Some elastic bands feature a raised area that stimulates the point when applied with pressure. There are no known adverse effects from using acupressure, but the practice remains unproven.

Additional Prevention Strategies
Avoid eating foods or meals having a high fat content 12 to 24 hours before a flight. Eat smaller, low-calorie meals every few hours during this time. Resist the urge to consume alcoholic beverages and hydrate well. Dairy products and salty foods also trigger symptoms for some people. During the flight, snacking on dry crackers and drinking carbonated soda helps quell the nausea for many.

When booking a flight, reserve a seat toward the front of the cabin or directly over the wing. These locations generally experience less movement.

Redirect the adjustable vents so the cool air circulates around the face and head. Do not read while flying; try instead to focus on a fixed point, the horizon or whatever view is in a direct line outside of the window.

Listen to soothing music and make a conscious effort to breathe slowly and deeply.

When passengers suffer from severe symptoms despite self-help techniques, over-the-counter and prescription medications often prove beneficial. Over-the-counter preparations include antihistamines that may include benadryl. Dramamine was created specifically for the treatment of motion sickness. Other options include meclizine tablets or scopolamine patches, which work by interfering with inner ear neurological transmissions to the brain. Promethazine counteracts nausea. The anti-anxiety medication aprazolam minimizes anxiety associated not only with flying, but additionally with the fear of experiencing the onset of airsickness symptoms.