Motion Sickness

In our body, the inner ears contain fluid that gives us the sense of balance. The signals about the surrounding area are sent by these fluids. When your body is involved in motion, the eyes convey some signals and the muscles convey another set of signals depending on what part is in contact with the ground or the vehicle in which you are travelling. Sometimes, this function may get conflicting signals especially when you are involved in motion and this leads to motion sickness where you start feeling dizzy. Many people even develop symptoms of nausea due to motion sickness. This condition usually affects kids till their teenage years. This is not a serious problem and it can be easily handled even with home remedies. Often, there is no need for major treatment and usually, children develop immunity to such problems as they get older.

Symptoms of Motion Sickness

-  It is very easy to identify the symptoms of motion sickness. In most cases, you may feel dizzy as soon as you begin travelling in a vehicle. It can be a car or a plane or anything else.

-  It also results in the body producing more saliva as a reaction to what is happening around you and you may also feel a sense of nausea.

-  Many people feel like vomiting even though they do not actually throw up in most cases.

-  It is also common for people to sweat excessively in this situation even when the temperature is not high. They will often become nervous and even lose their appetite during travel.

-  It can last for a few minutes or a few hours depending on how fast your brain will get adjusted to the movement of the vehicle.

-  This can lead to fatigue even though it lasts only for a short duration.

-  Many people also have shallow breathing when they are going through motion sickness.

-  If you regularly experience such symptoms when you are travelling, it makes sense to approach a doctor and get some treatment for this condition.

-  When your kids are having this problem, you can take some precautionary measures and ensure that they will have a comfortable journey.

Causes of Motion Sickness

-  The conflict between different signals sent to the brain regarding your movement often triggers motion sickness. Remember that the inner ears sense movement of the body and provide suitable signals to the brain. In the same way, our eyes also provide appropriate signals about our movement. When they give conflicting signals, it causes motion sickness.

-  In normal cases, this happens when you are travelling by any vehicle. If your brain is not able to get a proper sense of motion and balance signals from the body, it panics and causes different symptoms like nausea and other complications.

-  In some cases, people also experience motion sickness symptoms when they have too much anxiety or when they are exposed to strong smells.

-  This can also be seen in adults when they use video games as the fast movement can give conflicting signals about the movement of the body. In this situation, even though you are seated in front of the computer or the monitor, your eyes will send signals about a movement based on your activities in the game. This can sometimes trigger motion sickness in many individuals.

-  It is common for people suffering from this condition to experience the symptoms when they are on a roller coaster ride or other bumpy rides in parks. This can also be caused by boat rides and many people suffer from this problem for hours during this situation.

Diagnosis of Motion Sickness

There is no need for a special diagnosis to ascertain this condition. Most people who experience this problem have a clear idea about motion sickness. If you just visit your doctor and mention your symptoms, they will be able to identify the problem immediately and help you to cope up with the problem. In most cases, even professional treatment is also not required and the issue will usually resolve itself over time. It usually affects young children and they get used to such activities as they grow up. In rare cases, even adults can face this problem.

Prevention of Motion Sickness

-  You can prevent motion sickness to a large extent when you are prepared for the travel in advance. If you are travelling by plane, you can consider choosing the window seat as this will give you some view of the movement. In this way, your brain will not get confusing signals from your eyes and other muscles. This can prevent motion sickness to a major extent.

-  When you are travelling by bus or any other vehicle, try to face the driving direction as this will give you a proper sense of the motion of the vehicle. Strictly avoid sitting back from the driving direction as this can trigger motion sickness.

-  You can also consider opening the window wherever possible as this will give you further sense about the movement of the vehicle. In this way, your body will not give confusing signals to the brain about the direction of movement and this can easily prevent motion sickness in many people.

-  It is recommended that you avoid reading while you are travelling when you are suffering from motion sickness. This will give your brain the impression that you are stationary as your eyes will be fixed on the books. On the other hand, your brain will get the signal that there is a motion from the muscles. In this conflict, it gives rise to motion sickness in no time.

-  Many people suffering from this problem avoid eating food as they have symptoms of nausea while travelling. However, you should not do this as this can harm you in many ways and you must always have light food and not a heavy meal before travelling.

-  If you are mentally prepared to enjoy the travel, you will find it easier to handle this situation. Also, many people feel better when they are driving as the focus will be on the driving activity and your brain will also have a proper idea of the movement of the vehicle.

-  In extreme cases, when your profession revolves around driving regularly, you can consider medical support and some therapies will be helpful to avoid the symptoms to a major extent.

Treatment for Motion Sickness

-  In order to treat this issue, you need to understand how this triggers in your body and try to avoid those things while travelling. Make sure that you focus your eyes on something stable as this will give you the feeling that your body is stationary and you will be able to avoid motion sickness in most cases. In the same way, closing your eyes may also give you some relief. Remember that what works for one person may not work for another in this situation. You can try a few methods and stick to the ones that give you good relief from the symptoms of motion sickness.

- Home remedies : Many people get relief when they eat some quantity of raw ginger before travelling. Along with this, you may also try using mint or lemon to give you some fresh feeling and this will be able to ward away the feeling of nausea in many people.

- Acupressure therapy : As per this method of treatment, you can get relief from symptoms of nausea by pressing the pressure point below the wrist area. You can get directions about how to use this method from your doctor or any other trained professional. This does not cause any side effects and it works effectively for many patients. While this method also does not resolve the issue permanently, you can get relief immediately and continue with your travel without any inconvenience.

- Medication : Finally, when everything else fails, you can depend on medication to control the symptoms. Remember that taking medications will in no way cure the problem and it will only ease the symptoms on a temporary basis. For this reason, you should always give last preference to using medication as they come with many side effects. You can take some antihistamine pills that are usually available over the counter to get relief from this problem. Note that it should be taken before you start travelling and you can take the second dose a few hours later if you still have symptoms.

-  In the same manner, you can even try to wear some patches that are made to treat this condition behind the ears. This will give you long-term relief for many days at a time and it is suited for when you are travelling for a long duration. However, you should understand that these medications can make you drowsy and you should avoid using them if you are driving the vehicle.

Complications of Motion Sickness

-  There are no major complications of motion sickness and you can easily get rid of symptoms in a few hours. Most people only experience them for a few minutes and the symptoms go away on their own once the brain gets used to the movement of the vehicle.

-  In some cases, this can trigger extreme vomiting and lead to dehydration. The problem with this situation is that even drinking water will not give relief as it may trigger further symptoms of nausea. In this condition, you should ideally take a break or use some medication to get relief from symptoms.

-  This can also trigger a severe headache and you may have a problem with focusing in this situation. This becomes a problem when you are driving the vehicle yourself and you should take a break at this point. Remember that driving in this situation can lead to accidents as your focus may not be completely on the road and you will be in a confused state due to motion sickness symptoms.

-  For professionals like pilots and drivers, this can create a lot of problems and they may even have to get counselling to counter the issue. This can affect their overall performance and reduce their confidence levels in the future.

Myths about Motion Sickness

Myth #1: Motion sickness only affects kids

While it is true that this condition is commonly seen in children, there is no reason to believe that it affects only kids. It is also seen in many adults and they may continue to suffer from this condition for many years. In the case of kids, it is often seen that they get used to this problem and the symptoms go away on their own as they get old.

Myth #2: Motion sickness is a lifelong condition

This is not true and it usually goes away on its own when children get used to such movements. In most cases, children stop getting motion sickness once they attain the age of 12 or more. At this stage, the brain will get used to such frequent movements and it does not panic when there are confusing signals for some duration.

Myth #3: Fasting can control motion sickness

Many people believe that not eating any food before travelling will give them relief from motion sickness. However, this is not true as this can also create further problems with acidity and other complications. Even when you have not eaten any food, you may experience nausea and other symptoms due to motion sickness.


If your kids are having this problem, there is no need to panic as this does not cause any serious complications. In most cases, there is no need for any treatment as the symptoms will usually subside as soon the brain gets used to the movement of the vehicle. This can even happen within minutes and only a few people suffer from this problem for many hours. If this condition is affecting adults, they can look for some home remedies as there is no proper treatment available to treat this specific condition. You can try to avoid symptoms and get used to the movement by adjusting your sitting position in the vehicle. It makes sense to consult your doctor when you are having regular problems with motion sickness as they will guide you in the right direction and help you to get adjusted to the symptoms in future.

Last updated on : 14-09-2018

Disclaimer : Docprime doesn’t endorse or take any guarantee of the accuracy or completeness of information provided under this article and these are the views strictly of the writer. Docprime shall not be held responsible for any aspect of healthcare services administered with the information provided on this article.

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