How to Stop Airplane Sickness on a Long Flight

Flying can cause motion sickness
Flying can cause motion sickness
Motion sickness can occur in a car, on a boat, or on a long airplane flight. While it causes no severe or long-term health effects, it is extremely uncomfortable and can make you miserable while traveling. Airplane sickness on a long flight is caused by the sending of conflicting messages to the brain by the inner ears, eyes and body. When your inner ears sense movement that your eyes cannot detect, motion sickness occurs. Fortunately, there are number of things you can do to prevent and stop airplane sickness on a long flight.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging
Things You'll Need:
  • Oral or transdermal medication for motion sickness Acupuncture wristband Ginger ale
  • Oral or transdermal medication for motion sickness
  • Acupuncture wristband
  • Ginger ale
Step 1

Avoid eating right before the flight, and stay away from alcohol both before and during your plane ride. Spicy foods should also be avoided, as they increase the likelihood of stomach upset and the odor may trigger airplane sickness in some people.

Step 2

Sit as close to the wings of the plane as possible. Choose your seat in advance of your flight to increase the chance you will get the seat you want. If you begin experiencing motion sickness while in the air, it may be possible to change your seat by speaking with a member of your flight's cabin crew.

Step 3

Keep your head still. Avoid looking out the window and reading books or magazines while in the air. Instead, look straight ahead or keep your eyes closed as much as possible during the flight. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends resting your head against the back of the airplane seat to keep it still.

Step 4

Sip water or clear, carbonated drinks while in the air. This will prevent dehydration and improve your symptoms. Ginger ale may be most effective for airplane sickness. Do not be afraid to ask for a bottle of water every time a member of the cabin crew passes your seat.

Step 5

Take medication to control your symptoms. Various medications for airplane sickness are available, both by prescription and over the counter. Some work as sedatives and minimize the effects of motion on your body, while others reduce vomiting and feelings of nausea. Dramamine and Bronine are two commonly used medications for motion sickness that are most effective when taken at least one hour prior to takeoff, according to the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Step 6

Try wearing a wristband designed to stop airplane sickness on long flights. Applying pressure to the point known as Pericardium 6 may relieve nausea, and wristbands are designed and sold to apply pressure to this specific location on the wrist.

Step 7

Stay away from other passengers who are experiencing symptoms of motion sickness. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, hearing another passenger vomit, smelling vomit, or even just observing sweating or other signs of motion sickness in someone else may trigger airplane sickness.

Sandra Ketcham is a writer with more than 15 years experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. She specializes in health, travel and parenting topics, and has articles published in regional, national and international print magazines, including "The Dollar Stretcher" and "Kraze." Ketcham is currently pursuing a degree in psychology.

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