Motion sickness is a rather common ailment. It is more frequent among children, but it may also affect adults. Doctor Luca Malvezzi, a specialist in Otolaryngology and Head-and-Face Surgery at Humanitas, spoke about this in an interview for Rai Radio 1’s program “Life”.

“Motion sickness is a labyrinth disorder, but not only that. In fact, it also depends on a disorder of the parasympathetic nervous system, and our mental stance in respect to the issue may also play a role because our mind re-elaborates the disorder through the so-called somatization”, the specialist explains.
Motion sickness happens when our eyes send conflicting signals to the brain. “The eye gathers a signal that goes to the brain via the labyrinth but in a slightly altered way. Thus, our brain elaborates the information with a few milliseconds of delay, determining the whole group of symptoms that are typical of this ailment: nausea, vomit and malaise. Symptoms depend on the excessive stimulation of the labyrinth in the inner ear during the oscillatory movement of the car. Our neural system can’t read properly these movements”, Doctor Malvezzi points out.

Some tips to Avoid Experiencing Motion Sickness

  • Look at the horizon and find a reference point. In fact, a point of reference stabilizes our labyrinth, so that having a visual focus helps control the symptoms.
  • Avoid reading and be using smartphones or tablets.
  • Breathe fresh air. If possible, make some air circulate properly in order to alleviate your malaise.
  • Do not smoke in your car. In fact, foul air is a trigger of malaise.
  • Eat a snack before travelling. You should have a light meal before a trip, especially with dry foods such as biscuits, crackers, breadsticks, and bread. In fact, a snack tampons your stomach acid and reduces the impact of the autonomic nervous system symptoms.
  • Find the most stable position possible. In a car, for instance, you should sit on the front seat, while you should sit in the open on a boat.