Is Motion Sickness Genetic?

By February 16, 2020 March 20th, 2020 No Comments

Can you Inherit Motion Sickness?


Genetics play a huge part in who we are and how our environment affects us. They are responsible for how we look, what foods we like,  and how our nervous system interprets the stimuli around us. There are things we hope our children inherit from us like our love for black licorice, and other things we hope to spare them from like nausea you experience on car rides and airplanes.


Genetic research giant 23andMe has published a first-ever genome-wide study indicating that 1 in 3 people are affected by motion sickness, posing the question if motion sickness is hereditary. Researchers found genetic factors involved in balance, eye, ear development as well as in the nervous system made for motion sickness vulnerability. Genetic information from over 80,000 23andMe users assisted in the study to identify factors that pointed researches to believe motion sickness has sex-specific effects with the effects being three times stronger in women. The new study confirms that several genes may be linked to nausea associated with movement in a car or on a boat.  In fact, 35 genetic factors can now be tied to motion sickness. So Yes, motion sickness can be inherited!


It’s never too early to pass on your knowledge from experience to your children. Start by teaching them the classic helpful tips.


1) Stick to Plain Pre-Trip Meals 

Avoid greasy and rich foods fast food before or during your car trip. If your drive is short, try to avoid meals altogether until you reach your destination. A small, bland snack such as plain crackers and a few sips of water is less likely to trigger an upset stomach. 


2) Snacks That Contain Ginger or Peppermint 

Many people swear by these two natural remedies when it comes to preventing nausea. Queasy Pops are candy flavored with ginger, peppermint, and other calming ingredients that were created specifically to ease a queasy stomach. 


2) Over-the-Counter remedies 

If your child is older than two and prone to car sickness, ask your pediatrician about an over-the-counter medication to prevent nausea on long car trips.

Motioneaze is approved for kids, age two and older. This all-natural formula is applied behind the ears and starts working within minutes. Motioneaze is naturally derived and has no side effects like traditional over the counter medications can have. No brain fog or drowsiness and it’s positive effects last on an average flight


3) Focal Point Hack

The most popular theory about what causes the dizziness and nausea of motion sickness is that riding in vehicles delivers mixed signals to the inner ear, thus causing confusion between the senses. 

When your child plays a video game or reads in the backseat, his eyes are focused a few feet away, which sends a signal of stillness to the brain. Meanwhile, the inner ear picks up on the motion of the car. When the eyes and inner ear send mixed signals to the brain, the resulting conflict can cause nausea.

Interestingly, the exact point where the eyes are focused seems to make a big difference. Researchers at General Motors even identified a “puke zone” regarding the placement of the car’s video system that appeared to make backseat passengers more likely to feel sick.

Encourage your child to look at things outside the car—but through the front windshield instead of through the side window. Focusing on a distant point on the horizon tends to help.


4) Stop Frequently  

If your child signals that he is feeling sick, try to pull over at the nearest rest stop and let him get out and walk around. If you have a cooler in the car, placing something cool on his forehead may help.


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