GR 1144

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

May 31, 2024
Motion sickness, causing nausea and dizziness during travel, can be prevented with simple strategies. Keep your head still, get fresh air, avoid reading, and consider preventive medications. Eating soda crackers or sipping ginger ale can also help.
Homed-How to Prevent Motion Sickness

Preventing motion sickness naturally

How to Prevent Motion Sickness

Motion sickness, also called car, sea, train, or air sickness, happens when movement during travel causes nausea and dizziness. People may feel sick, dizzy, sweat, and breathe fast.

What Causes Motion Sickness?

Motion sickness occurs when too much motion overstimulates the inner ear’s balance parts. The brain receives mixed signals from the eyes, ears, and muscles. For example, on a boat, the rolling motion might not match what you see, causing you to feel sick.

Who is at Risk?

Some people are more likely to get motion sickness, like women, kids aged 2 to 12, and those with migraines. Pregnant women and people on hormonal birth control are also more prone. Stress, anxiety, and poor ventilation can make it worse. It’s less common after age 50 and rare in babies under 2 years old.

Recognizing Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Symptoms can start quickly and include nausea, vomiting, stomach discomfort, paleness, sweating, dizziness, headaches, tiredness, and trouble focusing. Breathing fast and swallowing air can happen before vomiting. Prolonged vomiting can cause dehydration and low blood pressure, but symptoms usually stop when the motion ends.

How is Motion Sickness Diagnosed?

Doctors diagnose motion sickness based on symptoms and travel situations. They recommend preventive steps like keeping your head and eyes still, getting fresh air, not reading, avoiding alcohol and smoking, and sometimes taking medicine. Ginger ale and soda crackers can help ease nausea.

Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness

  • Look at a distant object, like the horizon.
  • Choose seats with less motion: the front seat of a car, near the wings of a plane, or the middle of a ship.
  • Keep your head and body still.
  • Recline and face forward.
  • Avoid reading and try to sleep.

Reducing Susceptibility to Motion Sickness

  • Get fresh air by opening windows or air vents.
  • Avoid alcohol before travel.
  • Eat small, bland meals.
  • Don’t smoke.

Medications for Motion Sickness

Medicines like scopolamine, cyclizine, dimenhydrinate, diphenhydramine, meclizine, and promethazine can help prevent motion sickness if taken before symptoms start. These medicines can cause drowsiness and should be used carefully, especially when alertness is needed. Some people find relief with alternative methods like acupressure wristbands, ginger, or electrical stimulation.


Understanding motion sickness and using these tips can help reduce symptoms and make travel more comfortable. Getting used to motion over time can also help. If needed, talk to a doctor for advice and medication options.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us to talk with our doctors. We’re here to help!



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