Is Motion Sickness Genetic?

By February 16, 2020 February 23rd, 2021 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 but there are things we hope to spare them from, like nausea experienced 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. 


Studies suggest that if you are prone to motion sickness your child may have a higher chance of experiencing motion sickness. Keeping yourself and your child comfortable during flights, cruises, or car trips has been challenging for millions of parents with motion sickness. Alongside learning what triggers you and your child’s motion sickness, it is always helpful to pick up new tips and pass on the knowledge to your child. Early detection and education can help your child learn to be more in tune with their body and help identify what may cause their motion sickness to better prevent it.

With every new study published, our understanding of motion sickness changes. New recommendations or methods to manage motion sickness may appear or change in light of new information. Applying a mix of new and familiar techniques, methods and recommendations can help improve you and your child’s traveling experience.


Stick to Fresh Foods

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 are less likely to trigger an upset stomach. Keeping cut veggies on hand for longer hauls can help keep hungry stomachs happy without over filling.


 Snacks That Contain Ginger or Peppermint 

Satisfy a sweet tooth and help prevent nausea ahead of time. Hundreds of parents swear by this natural quick fix for avoiding and soothing nausea from windy roads. Queasy Pops made with ginger, peppermint, and other calming ingredients created specifically to ease a queasy stomach. 


Natural Remedies

Feeling like conventional over the counter remedies leave your child groggy or drowsy? Implementing a natural solution that is free of side effects is an option. Motioneaze is an all-natural formula approved for children two and older. Motioneaze’s essential oil formula is easily applied behind the ears, delivering relief within minutes and lasts for hours. Motioneaze is a naturally derived solution to help soothe motion sickness symptoms.  


Focal Point Hack

The most popular theory about what causes the dizziness and nausea is sensory confusion. A mix of messages that confuse the brain.  

When your child plays a video game or reads in the backseat, their 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.


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.