Motion Sickness

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Steven Doerr, MD
    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD

    Steven Doerr, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Doerr received his undergraduate degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He graduated with his Medical Degree from the University Of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, Colorado in 1998 and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine from Denver Health Medical Center in Denver, Colorado in 2002, where he also served as Chief Resident.

Balance Disorders: Vertigo, Migraines, Motion Sickness and More

Quick GuideBalance Disorders Pictures Slideshow: Vertigo, Migraines, Motion Sickness and More

Balance Disorders Pictures Slideshow: Vertigo, Migraines, Motion Sickness and More

What are the signs and symptoms of motion sickness?

The signs and symptoms of motion sickness usually begin with a feeling of uneasiness followed by cold sweats and dizziness. Some people may exhibit pale skin and increased saliva production along with headache and fatigue. Nausea and vomiting usually occur after these initial symptoms.

When should I call a doctor for motion sickness?

In most cases, a doctor doesn't need to be called for motion sickness unless the person starts to develop dehydration from persistent and intractable vomiting. In most people, once the motion has stopped, the symptoms slowly decrease and then disappear.

How is motion sickness diagnosed?

In general, motion sickness is diagnosed by the patient's history and physical examination. The individual's description of symptoms and the context in which they occur is most often sufficient to make the diagnosis. Laboratory testing is not generally required.

What is the treatment for motion sickness?

Treatment for motion sickness can consist of medical treatment, simple changes in the environment (for example, sitting by the open window of a car), over-the-counter (OTC) medications and for some people, home remedies may be effective. In addition, some patients respond well to biofeedback training and relaxation techniques.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/7/2015

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