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A 41-year-old member asked:

why do some people get motion sickness, but not others?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shaym Puppala
Internal Medicine 25 years experience
Motion sickness: Motion sickness can happen if the signals from the brain from the eyes and from the balance sense organ (within the inner ear) and other cues are different. Differences in the function of the inner ear, vision, nervous system, or vascular system of the brain can all result in a tendency towards motion sickness to varying degrees. Everyone is different, so tendencies towards motion sickness vary.
Dr. Val Zudans
Ophthalmology 23 years experience
Motion sickness: Motion sickness is due to "ocular - vestibular mismatch." the vestibular system is in the inner ear and senses position and rotation. When what the eyes see does not match what the vestibular system senses, it causes motion sickness. Some people are much more sensitive than others to this mismatch. You can reduce the issue by looking outside the boat or car. Then you have a better match.
Dr. Rodney Diaz
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 22 years experience
Vestibular system: Some people have more sensitive vestibular system than others, amplifying perception of movement. Others have extremely weak vestibular system, making visual and vestibular perception of movement out of balance.
Dr. Harold Peltan
Ophthalmology 28 years experience
Genes: Motion sickness often runs in families. A medical study of identical twins in india showed that both twins either got motion sickness or both twins did not get motion sickness 100% of the time. Some races, such as asians are also more prone to motion sickness. The evidence is strong, but the exact genes have not yet been isolated.

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CA
A 35-year-old member asked:

Can movies cause motion sickness?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
Yes: Jerky frame movements, rapidly flashing lights, fast action (like car chases), and movements like roller coaster or falling sequences can cause motion sickness in some people, especially if the visual takes up more & more of your field of vision in which you lose your fixed frames of reference and so your brain is confused about position and gravity.
CA
A 21-year-old member asked:

Is motion sickness really an illness?

1 doctor answer1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Albert Pizzo
Family Medicine 60 years experience
Motion sickness: Simple motion sickness from that from a boat or automobile ride is not an illness. However motion sickness e.g. Can occur from illness of the inner ear, eyes, or the brain and motion sickness would then be classified as an illness or symptom of an illness.
A 22-year-old member asked:

Why does reading in the car cause motion sickness?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Martha Stark
Psychiatry 47 years experience
Conflictual input: Motion sickness results from your body sensing a discrepancy between what you see (your eyes, focused on the book, say that you're still) and what you feel (your other senses say that you're moving). The discrepancy between what you see and feel causes spatial disorientation, nausea, and vomiting.
A 28-year-old member asked:

How does the patch work for motion sickness?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Shabbir Hossain
Internal Medicine 16 years experience
Blocks receptors : The patch contains scopolamine which works to block receptors in the brain that are involved with nausea and vertigo. It works in the same pathway as dramamine, (dimenhydrinate) another common nausea medication.
A 38-year-old member asked:

How long can motion sickness last for?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ian Stein
Neurology 21 years experience
Short: If it is true motion sickness it should only be short period of time.

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Last updated Jun 27, 2020

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