How to Prevent and Cope with Motion Sickness

Getting there is half the fun, right? Not if you are one of the millions of people who suffer from motion sickness. Take heart, queasy riders. We help you go from road weary to travel savvy!

If you’ve ever felt nauseated (as most of us have at one point or another), you know that it’s none too pleasant. Now imagine that any time you ride in a car, travel on a train, cruise on a boat or fly on an airplane you’re likely to feel that way. If you, or your child, is one of the millions of people who suffer from motion sickness, that’s the problem you must contend with.

What Causes Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness – also commonly referred to as carsickness and seasickness – is a disturbance to the inner ear caused by repeated or extreme motion. It affects one’s sense of balance and equilibrium, which are maintained by interaction between the inner ears, the eyes, pressure receptors on the skin, and motion receptors in the muscles and joints.

Suppose, for example, that you’re reading a book while riding in a car (something people prone to motion should never do). Because your eyes are focused on the book, they detect very little motion. This is communicated to your central nervous system. However, because the car is moving, your other sensory receptors perceive the car’s movement. This message is also sent to your central nervous system. When your central nervous system receives these conflicting messages, motion sickness is the result.

What are the Symptoms?

The most common symptoms of motion sickness are nausea and dizziness, which if severe enough often lead to vomiting. Motion sickness can also cause:

  • cold, clammy skin


  • faintness


  • headache

  • loss of color, especially to the face

In most cases, the symptoms of motion sickness subside soon after the motion causing the symptoms stops. However, in some people, symptoms can last for as long as a day or more.

Children tend to be more susceptible to motion sickness than adults. Research also indicates that motion sickness runs in families. African-Americans also tend to be more susceptible to motion sickness than others.


  • Tips for Preventing and Treating Motion Sickness

  • Quick Cures for Carsick Kids

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