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Motion Sickness

Published on May 10, 2024 at 8:00 / Updated on May 25, 2024 at 8:00

Motion sickness is caused by a conflict between vestibular (inner ear) and visual sensations. It can occur on a boat (seasickness), on an airplane (airsickness) or on any vehicle where your body is subjected to movement (car sickness, bus sickness, amusement ride sickness). However actual movement of the body is not necessary to produce symptoms. Purely visual stimuli such as those from video games or panoramic movies can also cause motion sickness.


Symptoms of motion sickness include nausea, vomiting, yawning, fatigue, sweating, and pallor.


If you suffer from motion sickness from vehicular transport, take the following preventive measures: on a plane, sit in front of the wings; in a car, sit in the front seat; on a boat, sit as close to the centre as you can. Also consider taking an antiemetic 30 minutes before departure or applying a patch 12 hours before departure. (Check with your pharmacist to determine if you have any contraindications to transdermal patches.)

Before climbing aboard a vehicle, eat a small meal but avoid fatty foods. During the trip, suck on lemon-flavored candies or chew a piece of gum. Make sure that your stomach is never empty. If you start to feel faint, stay calm and look toward the horizon. Do not read or smoke. Stay in a well-ventilated area.

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