Motion Sickness: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Prevention

Motion sickness is an inner ear disturbance that is triggered by real movements or perceived movements. This condition affects 1 in 3 people. It can make your world spin and stop you from doing things.

For instance, if you are in a moving car and you are trying to focus on reading and your brain doesn’t know how to get the two things in balance. People with motion sickness should take some measures to prevent diseases such as medications.

You should prevent motion sickness rather than curing it. Medication helps ward off motion sickness and it also helps lessen symptoms. Other things include getting fresh air and focusing on the horizon.


People suffer from motion sickness from their childhood and they become more sensitive to it. It affects their lives every day. People become nauseated and disoriented when they are affected by motion sickness. It often occurs in cars, buses, planes, and boats. Every single person is different in their experience with motion sickness.

What are the indicators of motion sickness?

Headache, nausea, and dizziness are very common symptoms. Other common symptoms include a loss of appetite, an increase in saliva production, and some people get very sensitive to smells and they may feel like they are going to vomit. Some people even experience cold sweats and also feel very tired.

These symptoms usually come on all of a sudden and sometimes will go away as you get used to the movement or when the movement stops. If these symptoms persist after the movement stops, then you might want to see your physician check if another cause may be possible. It has been observed in a study that watching 3-D movies can also cause nausea.

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor or a therapist immediately if you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above. Your doctor should evaluate you for other possible causes of your symptoms before treating Motion sickness. Together, you and your doctor can determine the best way to manage your symptoms.

What are the causes of motion sickness?

When your brain received mixed signals from your body, then it results in motion sickness and it is considered as the main cause of this condition. One should maintain balance with the help of the signals but conflicting signals can trigger the condition.

Who’s at risk of developing motion sickness?

Several well-established risk factors are developing the condition. People who travel more are more prone to developing this condition. Children between the ages of two and twelve have an increased risk of getting diagnosed with motion sickness. Pregnant women are also more likely to develop this condition.

How is motion sickness diagnosed?

Your physician may not recommend imaging tests and blood tests to confirm the diagnosis of motion sickness. He or she may ask a detailed history of the symptoms you are experiencing in the past few days. The main objective of your physician is to find out what triggers the condition such as riding a car, or flying in a plane.

What are the treatment options available for motion sickness?

There are treatments for this which can include remedies, non-prescription options as well as prescription medications. The following are the various treatment options for motion sickness. It includes

  • Remedies
  • Medications
  • Lifestyle changes

Let’s discuss the above treatment options in detail.


The distressing indicators of this condition stop when the movement stops. If the symptoms continue even after the movement stops then it is advisable to follow some remedies that can help in the management of motion sickness. These remedies include

  • Focusing on the horizon
  • Keeping eyes closed and napping
  • Chewing
  • Getting fresh air
  • Ginger
  • Acupressure

Let’s discuss the above remedies in detail:

Focusing on the horizon: If you are feeling nauseated or disoriented then look out of the window and see distant objects while traveling. It can balance the signals in your brain and lessen the symptom.

Keeping eyes closed and napping: When a conflict happens between your eyes and ears, then you should close your eyes and take a nap if it is possible. It can resolve the conflict.

Chewing: Chewing is helpful for the people who are experiencing the symptoms of motion sickness while driving a car. It can relieve mild car sickness and chewing gums are available in all the general stores or you can buy them online. Chewing can also resolve the conflict between vision and balance.

Getting fresh air: Sometimes, all you need is fresh air. It cannot cure your condition permanently but can give you temporary relief from the motion sickness. Expose your body to fresh air when you are feeling nauseated and disoriented.

Ginger: People with motion sickness should try ginger and it can be available in the form of a tablet. Ginger can relieve mild symptoms of motion sickness. These ginger products are available in all the health stores or you can buy them online.

Acupressure: It has been observed in research that acupressure can give relief to the people who are suffering from the symptoms of motion sickness. But more research is needed to be done to prove this point.


Some people may not get support from home remedies to prevent motion sickness. There are a variety of medications that can be used to treat motion sickness. These medications include

  • Scopolamine
  • Promethazine
  • Cyclizine
  • Dimenhydrinate
  • Meclizine

Let’s discuss the above medications in detail:

Scopolamine: This medication is your physician’s first choice when you are unable to recover from the motion sickness through home remedies. It is advised to take before the symptoms start. Possible side effects include dry mouth, feeling sleepy all the time, urinary retention, unable to see, disorientation, and dizziness if used over three days.

Promethazine: This medication affects the last six to eight hours and your physician may recommend you take this drug two hours before travel. Possible side effects include sedation, unable to see, rapid heart rate, hives, urinary retention, and unable to maintain an erection during sexual intercourse, photosensitivity, and muscle spasms.

Cyclizine: This drug should be taken at least thirty minutes before travel. This medication is not recommendable for children who are below the age of six. Possible side effects include fast heartbeat, feeling sleepy all the time, difficulty urinating, dry mouth, unable to see, dry nose or throat, and a decreased appetite.

Dimenhydrinate: This drug must be taken every four to eight hours. The following are the possible side effects associated with drug use. These side effects include


The above side effects can occur at any time during drug use. Consult your physician when you are experiencing the side effects associated with this drug. Your physician may change the dosage of your medication or switch you to another drug.

Meclizine: This medication works effectively when taken one hour before travel. Children who are under the age of twelve are not supposed to take this drug. Possible side effects include cough, unable to swallow, vomiting, feeling sleepy all the time, rapid heartbeat, and tightness in the chest.

Lifestyle changes

A well-balanced diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce the chances of experiencing these adverse conditions associated with motion sickness. You will get control over your body as well as your brain.


Anyone can get motion sickness. Children, pregnant women, and people taking certain medications. The other thing that sometimes is helpful for people is to not eat spicy foods or greasy foods or acidic foods, and also you should avoid alcohol. This can trigger the condition. If motion sickness is a big problem for you, then talk with your physician about some of the available treatment options.



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