Motion sickness

Motion sickness is feeling sick when you travel by car, boat, plane or train. There are things you can do to prevent it or relieve the symptoms.

How you can ease motion sickness yourself

Do

  • minimise motion – sit in the front of a car or in the middle of a boat
  • look straight ahead at a fixed point, such as the horizon
  • breathe fresh air if possible – for example, by opening a car window
  • close your eyes and breathe slowly while focusing on your breathing
  • distract children by talking, listening to music or singing songs
  • break up long journeys to get some fresh air, drink water or take a walk
  • try ginger, which you can take as a tablet, biscuit or tea

Don't

  • read, watch films or use electronic devices
  • look at moving objects, such as passing cars or rolling waves
  • eat heavy meals, spicy foods or drink alcohol shortly before or during travel
  • go on fairground rides if they make you feel unwell

A pharmacist can help with motion sickness

You can buy medication from pharmacies to prevent motion sickness, including:

  • tablets – dissolvable tablets are available for children
  • patches – can be used by adults and children over 10
  • acupressure bands – these don't work for everyone

Your pharmacist will be able to recommend the best treatment for you or your child.

Causes of motion sickness

Motion sickness is caused by repeated movements when travelling, like going over bumps in a car or moving up and down in a boat.

The inner ear sends different signals to your brain from those your eyes are seeing. These confusing messages cause you to feel unwell.

Call 111

If you can’t speak to your GP or don’t know what to do next.

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