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A Complete Guide to Motion Sickness

No one is totally immune from it and it can come on quickly. One minute you’re feeling fine and the next you’re queasy and wanting to lie down. Kinetosis is also known as travel sickness or motion sickness and can occur while walking or moving about, driving, flying, or boating. It even sometimes happens to astronauts. If you have ever experienced it, you are fully aware of the condition and would just as soon never have it again. It is so common that it can even affect your pets.

What is Motion Sickness?

It can start when the eyes see movement, but the brain doesn’t feel the body reacting. The body senses when we are moving by touch and our muscular use, but when that isn’t happening; it finds it difficult to understand why the world is passing us by. Another cause for motion sickness is due to an inner ear issue where liquid gets into the canals, which throws our balance out of whack. This is all followed by Dizziness and nausea. 

Kids Health Understanding motion sickness for kids. Causes and help aids.

Medline Plus The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gives a basic explanation.

Better Health a condition summary

Health Finder Links to various sites regarding motion sickness.

NASA Article: NASA Studies Nanomechanics of Inner Ear for Motion Sickness

Risk Factors & Triggers

Every individual, under the right circumstances is capable of getting motion sickness, but some are more likely than others. Babies and children are most at risk for developing motion sickness. Women too are at a higher risk due to hormonal changes in the body. Those prone to migraines those who are coming down with an illness are also more prone to develop motion sickness.

Better Health A fact sheet covering all aspects of motion sickness and the effects of the inner ear.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Explains what the risk factors are for travelers and how to treat the ailment.

Aurora Health Air Sickness; Car Sickness; Sea Sickness – Health information in English and Spanish

Signs and Symptoms

While yawning alone does not mean you have motion sickness, it is often the first sign it is coming on. The skin usually pales; there may also be dizziness, nausea, a headache or restlessness. In some cases, the sufferer may even begin to sweat. This is all followed by sleepiness, which actually is often a good thing. Sleep can be the answer to ignoring symptoms before they get too severe.

C Health Fact sheet that covers causes, symptoms, treating and prevention.

The Cleveland Clinic Covers symptoms of sea/motion sickness and how to minimize it.

King County Article: Carsickness and riding behavior

Denver West Surgery Center Motion sickness defined, with risks, treatments and other helps.

Management and Prevention

Preventing motion sickness is key, especially if you will be on a long trip. Avoid things like caffeine and make sure to stay hydrated. If riding be sure to look forward and not off to the side as things pass by. Eating a light snack periodically is usually very helpful as well, but avoid chocolate or overly sweet snacks as they can aggravate the situation. Make sure you are getting a flow of fresh air and take breaks from moving if at all possible.

The Mayo Clinic Motion sickness: First aid

Medline Plus Tips on what to do when traveling by car.

ABC Science Article: Mind training tackles motion sickness

Gastrointestinal Liver Physiology Article: Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vection.

Georgia Health A question/answer format for motion sickness tips for preventing it in kids?

FDA Travel training for you and your pets

When to Seek Medical Help

If you have tried everything, but your motion sickness has led to prolonged vomiting, it is essential that you hydrate yourself. In most cases, you can help yourself, but in rare cases where vomiting will not subside seek medical help immediately. If you have recurring bouts of motion sickness, seek medical help. There are medications that may be useful.

Your Health Choices Treating motion sickness. Self-help information and what to do medically if needed.

American Academy of Otolaryngology When to seek medical attention with dizziness and motion sickness

Cleveland Clinic Nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness. When should a doctor be consulted?