Sea-band for Motion Sickness: FSA Eligibility
No prescription required.
Under IRC 213(d)(1), "medical care includes amounts paid for the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease, or for the purpose of affecting any structure or function of the body." This includes medical equipment and devices.
What are sea-bands for motion sickness?
Sea-bands for motion sickness are also called motion sickness wristbands. They are designed to prevent motion sickness by administering acupressure to the wrists. Motion sickness results from an imbalance in a person's visual sense of their orientation, versus their nerve sense of their orientation which is primarily fed by tiny assemblies in the inner ear, as well as touch senses. Motion sickness is most common on boats, in cars, and on airplanes.
As opposed to medicines that treat the symptoms of motion sickness such as nausea and dizziness, motion sickness wristbands use acupressure to prevent motion sickness. Sea-bands for motion sickness are meant to be applied to acupressure points on both wrists in order to be effective. There are studies indicating that acupressure is difficult for patients to self-administer, despite carefully following instructions. Some studies indicate that acupressure wristbands are not meaningfully more effective than placebos or other medicines at dealing with motion sickness or other forms of nausea such as morning sickness. The acupressure point which motion sickness wristbands work on is called the Nel-Kuan point (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Sea-bands for motion sickness are an Over-the-Counter (OTC) product eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account. No prescription is required for motion sickness wristbands to be considered eligible.
Alternatives to acupressure for dealing with motion sickness
One of the most common motion sickness medicines is called Dramamine, which reduces the symptoms of motion sickness such as nausea, dizziness and vomiting. Dramamine has several side effects such as drowsiness, headaches, blurred vision, tinnitus, mouth and respiratory passage dryness, and dizziness.
Meclizine is another motion sickness medicine. It is an antihistamine and antiemetic that reduces nausea, and an antispasmodic that reduces muscle spasms. Meclizine reduces activity in the portion of the brain that controls nausea, and this is how it addresses the symptoms of motion sickness (WebMD).
Other motion sickness medicines include dermal patches that can be applied to the skin.