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Motion Sickness

Also called: Airsickness, Carsickness, Seasickness


Motion sickness is a common problem in people traveling by car, train, airplanes, and especially boats. Anyone can get it, but it is more common in children, pregnant women, and people taking certain medicines. Motion sickness can start suddenly, with a queasy feeling and cold sweats. It can then lead to dizziness and nausea and vomiting.

Your brain senses movement by getting signals from your inner ears, eyes, muscles, and joints. When it gets signals that do not match, you can get motion sickness. For example, if you are reading on your phone while riding a bus, your eyes are focused on something that is not moving, but your inner ear senses motion.

Where you sit can make a difference. The front seat of a car, forward cars of a train, upper deck on a boat or wing seats in a plane may give you a smoother ride. Looking out into the distance - instead of trying to read or look at something in the vehicle - can also help.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Learn More

  • (American Academy of Pediatrics) Also in
  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association)
  • (Vestibular Disorders Association) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Clinical Trials

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)