Motion Sickness

Motion sickness is characterized by the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by motion itself or simply from feeling the sensation of motion, as when watching a movie or playing a video game.

  • Causes

    Balance and equilibrium are maintained by an interaction among the inner ears, the eyes, pressure receptors on the skin, and motion receptors in the muscles and joints.

    Motion sickness results when conflicting messages regarding spatial orientation and motion of the body are sent to the central nervous system. For example, reading a book while riding in a car may cause your eyes to send different messages than your inner ears do regarding motion.

    Central Nervous System
    Central Nervous System
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  • Definition

    Motion sickness is characterized by the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Nausea and vomiting can be caused by motion itself or simply from feeling the sensation of motion, as when watching a movie or playing a video game.

  • Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

  • Prevention

    Strategies to prevent motion sickness include:

  • Risk Factors

    Motion sickness is more common in women and children. Other factors that increase your chances of getting motion sickness include:

    • Family members who get motion sickness
    • A long or rough car, boat, plane, or train ride
    • Amusement park rides
    • Migraine headaches

  • Symptoms

    The most common symptoms include:

    • Dizziness
    • Upset stomach
    • Nausea or vomiting

    Other symptoms include:

    • Tiredness or sleepiness
    • Sweating
    • Cold, clammy feeling
    • Feeling faint
    • Headache
    • Loss of color, especially in the face

  • Treatment

    Symptoms of motion sickness usually go away soon after the motion stops. But, for some people, the symptoms can last a day or more. The main treatment for motion sickness is rest.


    To help control vomiting, medicines may be given rectally or through an IV. If motion sickness lasts a long time, fluids may be given in order to prevent
    dehydration
    .