The Reason You Get Motion Sickness Isn't What You Think

For anyone who deals with motion sickness, even something as simple as riding in a car can become a real challenge. Airplanes, amusement park rides, boats, and trains can also bring on symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, and cold sweats, according to The Cleveland Clinic.

And though it might feel like a digestive problem, it's actually an issue that's rooted in the inner ear. Specifically, two portions of the inner ear called the saccule and the utricle, according to WebMD. The saccule contains a liquid that moves along with the motion of your head. Together with the utricle, which is the larger fluid-filled sac, this portion of the inner ear is responsible for gauging your orientation to the ground.

Motion sickness happens where there is a disconnect between what our other senses are telling us and what the inner ear perceives. On an airplane, for example, you can feel turbulent air but your eyes cannot see it to visually process it.

Remedies for motion sickness

While women and children are most prone to motion sickness, it can strike anyone (via Verywell Health). And once you've felt it, it can be something you worry about and dread in the future. Try not to do so. People who anticipate motion sickness are more vulnerable to it, so try to redirect your mind to another place. Other tips to combat the feelings include blowing cool air on yourself from a vent, avoiding reading, eating dry crackers, standing up if possible for a moment, avoiding alcohol, and using the seatback headrest to keep your head as still as possible.

Some people believe they feel better when they take ginger or peppermint, according to WebMD. Ginger candies are available in many pharmacies for motion sickness, but check with your doctor before using them, as ginger can thin blood.

Dramamine is an over-the-counter medication that can help combat motion sickness. It can make you feel sleepy as the active drug, Dimenhydrinate, is also an antihistamine. Look for the non-sleepy option if you prefer. If you're still suffering from motion sickness, with no relief in sight, talk to your doctor about a prescription medication option.