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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Ear Nose and Throat Disorders Symptoms of motion sickness

Symptoms of motion sickness

Motion sickness is a common disturbance of the inner ear that is caused by repeated motion such as from the swell of the sea, the movement of a car, the motion of a plane etc. Motion sickness affects the sense of balance and equilibrium.


Depending on the cause it can also be referred to as seasickness, car sickness, simulation sickness, airsickness, or space sickness.

Risk factors

  • Riding in a car, boat, airplane
  • Young age -- children ages 2 - 12 are most likely to get motion sickness
  • Susceptibility to nausea or vomiting
  • Heightened level of fear, anxiety and stress
  • Poor ventilation/air circulation in the vehicle
  • Sitting in the back seat

Signs and symptoms of motion sickness

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pallor
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Drooling
  • Shortness of breathe
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Yawing

Cardiovascular, respiratory, and other signs have also been reported, as have a variety of other sensations, feelings and performance changes.

Common causes of motion sickness

  • Cyclical vomiting syndrome
  • Disturbance in vestibular system
  • Labyrinthtis
  • Perilymhatic fistula