motion sickness

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motion sickness,

waves of nausea and vomiting experienced by some people, resulting from the sudden changes in movement of a vehicle. The ailment is also known as seasickness, car sickness, train sickness, airsickness, and swing sickness. The principal cause of the disturbance is the effect of motion on the semicircular canals of the inner ear, although other factors such as inadequate ventilation and fumes or noxious odors may contribute. Drugs are available that, when taken beforehand, prevent the occurrence of motion sickness.

Motion Sickness


a syndrome occurring in man and some animals as a result of rocking on the sea (seasickness), air turbulence and aerobatics (airsickness), or rapid driving over a winding, bumpy road. It is caused by prolonged stimulation of the vestibular apparatus of the inner ear and by the action of impulses that originate in the internal organs on the autonomic nervous system.

The symptoms of motion sickness include fatigue, dizziness, headache, copious salivation, nausea, vomiting (which causes temporary relief), and the appearance of cold perspiration. Prolonged motion may cause loss of consciousness. Aeron and diphenhydramine are used to prevent and treat motion sickness; persons with a highly sensitive vestibular apparatus may take the drugs before embarking on an airplane or ship. Vestibular training (special exercises that increase the stability of the vestibular apparatus) is also helpful in preventing the syndrome.


Vozhzhova, A. I., and R. A. Okunev. Ukachivanie i bor’ba s nim. Leningrad, 1964.

motion sickness

[′mō·shən ‚sik·nəs]
A complex of symptoms, including nausea, vertigo, and vomiting, occurring as the result of random multidirectional accelerations of a vehicle.

motion sickness

A condition in which a person suffers from nausea and vomiting. Motion sickness includes sea sickness, car sickness, swing sickness, and air sickness. The sickness in the air may be caused by a fear of flying, apprehension at seeing the horizon at different angles, turbulence, unusual attitudes, and g forces. It also may be caused by mismatching between the balance signals from the ear and the visual signals from the eye. Also called air sickness.
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