Why Do I Get Motion Sick So Easily?

Reviewed on 1/17/2023

A senior man feeling dizzy and touching his head
Risk factors for motion sickness include being a child, taking certain medications, sinus congestion, sinus infection, ear infection, recent concussion, migraines, pregnancy, and being female.

Motion sickness is a type of dizziness that occurs in response to real or perceived motion, and can cause gastrointestinal and nervous system symptoms.

Motion sickness results from an imbalance between what you see and what you feel. For example, a car moves forward while your body remains still. This imbalance causes the symptoms of motion sickness. 

Some people get motion sickness more easily than others. Factors that can predispose you to motion sickness include: 

What Are Symptoms of Motion Sickness?

Symptoms of motion sickness include: 

  • Nausea
  • Feeling unwell (malaise)
  • Vomiting (may be severe)
  • A feeling of warmth
  • Dizziness
  • Belching
  • Increased salivation
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Irritability 
  • Pale skin (pallor)
  • Hyperventilation
    • Shortness of breath
    • Numbness and tingling
    • Feelings of impending doom

How to Cure Motion Sickness

Symptoms of motion sickness usually go away when the motion stops. 

Once symptoms of motion sickness begin, treatments include: 

  • Environmental modification
    • Lay down when you feel sick
    • Drink plenty of water
  • Switch seats if you are not already in the most favorable seat to reduce motion sickness
  • Get plenty of air 
  • Complementary and alternative treatments to treat and prevent motion sickness include: 
    • Ginger
      • Suck on hard ginger candies 
      • Take 1 to 2 grams of ginger orally
    • Apply acupressure bands to both wrists (may be worn in anticipation of symptoms but also after symptoms have started)
  • Medications to both treat and prevent motion sickness

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Reviewed on 1/17/2023
Image source: iStock Images