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Motion Sickness (cont.)

Motion Sickness Causes

The cause of motion sickness is complex and not fully understood, but most experts believe that it arises due to conflicts in sensory input to the brain. The brain senses motion through different signaling pathways from the inner ear (sensing motion, acceleration, and gravity), the eyes (vision), and the deeper tissues of the body (proprioceptors). When the body moves involuntarily, such as when riding in a vehicle, there may be conflict among these different types of sensory input to the brain. The sensory apparatus in the inner ear seems to be most critical in the development of motion sickness.

Studies have shown that some people are more likely than others to experience motion sickness.

  • Women are more sensitive to motion sickness than men, and pregnant women are especially at risk for motion sickness.

  • Children are commonly affected. The peak incidence for the development of motion sickness is 12 years; infants and children under two are generally not affected.

  • Persons who suffer from migraine headaches or conditions that interfere with sensory input (such as labyrinthitis) are at increased risk for motion sickness.

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Motion Sickness - Treatment

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