Conflicting Messages

One message or signal comes from the middle (or inner) ear that controls balance and the other message comes from the eyes. During changes in position caused by travel these two signals conflict or disagree. Or seen another way, reading a book the view remains stable while the body is twisted and turned during travel. These two signals end up at the nausea center of the brain and with such confusion is it a surprise that motion sickness is the result.


Children suffer more from motion sickness than adults and usually adults over 50 rarely suffer from motion sickness. Its a case where the cliches are true, "you will grow out of it" or "its just a stage you are going through".

Racial and Genetic Differences

As you may have observed some families suffer from motion sickness more than others, there is also a racial difference which was shown in a medical trial. The Asian-American children suffered the most motion sickness, 100% of them and it was so bad for some of them they asked to leave the trial early.

Pre Trip

Many times the previous 24 hours are the reason for motion sickness not the journey itself. Hangovers, over tiredness, anxiety, minor illnesses all contribute to motion sickness. A heavy meal, full of fat and possibly over spiced does not help either. Too many carbonated and or alcoholic drinks can unsettle your stomach which will make you more sensitive to motion sickness during the journey. Therefore if you are not fit, rested and healthy you will probably suffer more motion sickness than you usually do.

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