What are the symptoms of motion sickness?

The most common symptoms of motion sickness include dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. People suffering from motion sickness also may experience:

  • fatigue
  • sleepiness
  • cold sweat
  • weakness
  • pale skin
  • headache
  • increased salivation
  • rapid breathing
  • difficulty concentrating
  • frequent yawning
  • buzzing sensation
  • depression/apathy
  • sensations of body warmth
  • panic

Some of the symptoms of motion sickness may mimic those of pregnancy-related morning sickness, viral illnesses, cardiovascular conditions, inner ear disorders, neurological problems or other conditions.

For example, although dizziness is a common feature of motion sickness, it also can occur when the brain does not receive enough blood or when a person is dehydrated. Dizziness also could be a feature of a cold, the flu or allergies. Extreme stress or anxiety may produce feelings of lightheadedness in some people, as well.

Likewise, a variety of conditions may contribute to nausea and/or vomiting, including viral illnesses, food poisoning, side effects from chemotherapy, migraine headaches, morning sickness, excess alcohol intake and certain medications.

However, if your symptoms are limited to times of travel, it's less likely that they are caused by these other conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.