Travel Sickness

Motion sickness otherwise known is a nausea caused by motion, especially by traveling in a vehicle. It occurs as a result of sensory organs sending mixed messages to the brain for processing which causes dizziness, light-headedness and sometimes vomiting.

For example, an airplane traveller cannot see turbulence, but his or her body can feel it. The resulting confusion can cause nausea or even vomiting. Children are more susceptible to motion sickness than adults. More than half of children experience motion sickness when travelling by car.

When in a vehicle that moves continuously with relatively slow and prolonged motion, the organ of balance in your inner ear may be affected, causing motion sickness. Motion sickness is likely to happen if you are also worried about having an attack, if the air is stuffy or filled with fumes, or if you have just eaten a big meal. Looking at food can make motion sickness worse. In motion sickness, a discrepancy exists between the motion that is expected to occur and the actual motion sensed by the organ of balance in the inner ear. These unexpected signals translate into a confused message by the brain, leading to the development of symptoms.

There are different ways of treating the sickness. These include avoiding the following before or during travel:

  • alcohol
  • dairy products
  • foods high in salt, protein, or calories
  • large meals
  • smoking
  • unpleasant odours

Also, if you read or look at nearby objects, or look at things going by such as the scenery in your trip, motion sickness could get worse. It is better to focus on objects on the horizon. There are also available drugs which a doctor can prescribe but all the same, like my uncle says, it’s something one will outgrow!



Adapted from


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