Posted by: seattledizzygroup | July 31, 2018

Strategies to Combat Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness Road

Ways to Prevent & Treat Motion Sickness

Traveling can be a fun adventure, but may unfortunately bring on motion sickness—especially for those living with a chronic vestibular disorder.

Motion sickness occurs when the body systems that make up the vestibular (balance) system, the inner ear, eyes and receptors located throughout the body that can sense movement (proprioception), lose sync with one another. This “sensory mismatch” is often caused by riding in a car, boat, airplane, or riding a novelty ride at the carnival. It can however be caused during any other activity that involves motion.

Dizziness is the main symptom associated with motion sickness and may be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms including  nausea, vomiting, fatigue, cold sweats, headache, etc.

A sensory mismatch also occurs in certain inner ear disorders, producing the same symptoms. For example, in Meniere’s Disease, fluid pressure in the inner ear can give a false cue to the brain that the body (or the room) is spinning, but vision and the pressure on the feet indicate otherwise. The resulting nausea is similar to being sea-sick.  In Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), abnormal particles in a semicircular canal cause currents when the head is tilted, creating a false cue of spinning.  This can result in a loss of balance because of disorientation, and nausea because of the sensory mismatch.

(Sensory Mismatch information from vestibular expert Dr. John Epley’s

Luckily, motion sickness from travel adventures is usually temporary.  However, in rare cases motion sickness may persist long after travels.  Mal de Débarquement Syndrome (MdDs) or Disembark­ment Sickness is a rare neurological disorder (also considered a balance disorder though not resulting from an inner ear disorder) that most often develops following an ocean cruise but may occur after any type of travel or even spontaneously.  The characteristic symptom of MdDs is a persistent sensation of motion (such as rocking, swaying, bobbing, etc.).  MdDs is a life-altering condition which may be quite disabling and may persist for years.

(MdDs information from

Helpful Articles:

Dizziness & Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness

Motion Sickness: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments (Vision Therapy)

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Motion Sickness

Why You Get Car Sick: Your Brain Thinks It’s Being Poisoned

How to Prevent Motion Sickness + Natural Treatments

Preventing and Treating Motion Sickness

10 Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness

10 Ways to Combat Motion Sickness (from a Life-Long Sufferer)

Natural Remedies for Motion Sickness

Vertigo, Dizziness, Disequilibrium: Battling Chronic Nausea

Mal de Débarquement Syndrome

Summer Survival Strategies

Traveling with Dizziness (Adventures in “Dizzyland”)


© Copyright 2018, Seattle Dizzy Group. All rights reserved.



  1. Hi I appreciate the posting! I am so glad to be getting your mailings. The Seattle Dizzy is a great group! I am a professor at Iowa State who has Menieres. Wish we had a group like yours here! Is there any way I could correspond with any of your members? I love Seattle and was there in March. Lovely! Thanks, Barbara Caldwell

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. […] Ways to Combat Motion Sickness […]

  3. […] Ways to Combat Motion Sickness […]

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Seattle Dizzy Group

Providing support & community for people living with chronic dizziness & imbalance -- in Seattle & beyond

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