Motion Sickness & How to Fight It


There are many who are prone to motion sickness, which can be identified by other names, such as travel sickness, car sickness, sea sickness, and air sickness to name a few. Those who have experienced any of these forms of motion sickness can tell you that it’s no picnic, and it can even cause anxiety so as to avoid activities that may trigger a particular type of motion sickness. It is basically a condition in which a disagreement exists between visually perceived movement and the vestibular systems sense of movement (the motion that the eyes see conflicts with the motion that the ears feel).  The most common symptoms of motion sickness are dizziness, fatigue, and nausea.

The brain senses movement by getting signals from the inner ears, eyes, muscles and joints.  When the brain receives signals that do not match, motion sickness occurs.  For instance, if you are below deck on a boat, your inner ear senses motion, but your eyes cannot tell that you are moving.


Things You Can Do to Fight Motion Sickness

There are various treatments for motion sickness.  If you are in a car, you can look out the window towards the horizon.  This helps to re-orient the inner sense of balance by providing a visual reaffirmation of motion.  A nap has been known to help as well.  This resolves the conflict between the eyes and the inner ear.  Fresh, cool air can also be beneficial.  Another good thing to try is chewing gum or snacking.  An alternative home option is ginger root.  Ginger is known to be an anti-emetic.  Ginger tea, crystallized ginger, or even ginger snap cookies can be useful to alleviate motion sickness.  Ginger snaps are an essential item for the crew on our sailing trips.  We swear by them!


Best Medications for Motion Sickness

Medications are another available option for treatment of motion sickness.  Dramamine and Bonine are the most popular over-the-counter pills.  If those are ineffective for you, then you can see a physician for a prescription medication.  A transdermal patch is the most popular option from the doctor’s office.  If you choose to use the patch, it must be applied approximately 4 – 6 hours prior to your adventure.

If you have additional questions or concerns about motion sickness, it is always best to consult with a physician.  I hope these tips will help to keep you and your family free from motion sickness this travel season.


The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.

Skip to content