Dr. M.J. Bazos,
Motion sickness is an ill
feeling caused by repetitive angular, linear, or vertical motion and is
primarily characterized by nausea and vomiting. Seasickness, air-sickness,
car-sickness, train-sickness, and swing-sickness are common forms. There are
direct connections from the balance mechanism to the nausea/vomiting center in
the brain, and with repetitive motion, fluid changes occur in your inner ear
that may excessively stimulate your balance mechanism, causing a sensation of
motion and nausea. This sensation generally resolves with or without treatment
in 1–2 days.
Living With Your
Some individuals are more
susceptible to motion sickness than others. Those individuals should minimize
their exposure by choosing positions on ships or planes where there is the least
motion (e.g., amidships, or in airplanes over the wings). A semireclined
position with your head braced is best. The sensation of motion and symptoms of
nausea and vomiting generally go away within 48 hours.
with many medical problems, prevention is easier than treatment. However, there
are several overthe- counter and prescription medications that may
used for motion sickness. Some
medications help to prevent motion sickness from occurring, and others are for
treating the symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Consult your pharmacist and/or
• Take frequent sips of
fluids. Stay with simple fluids such as water, clear soda, or simple sports
• If you are having repeated
vomiting, only consume liquids.
Take your medication as instructed while the symptoms are
• While in a vehicle (car,
boat, or plane), lie back in the seat and take slow deep
• While in a boat or
airplane, try to sit in an area with the least
• Keep line of vision at 45
degrees above horizontal.
• Avoid alcoholic
beverages and overeating.
areas where individuals are
• While in the vehicle do
not read or watch the horizon.
to Call Your Doctor
symptoms do not improve after resting 48
• You continue to have
vomiting and notice that you become faint or dizzy when you change positions