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The Ups and Downs of Motion Sickness

Herron, Dorothy G. PhD, ACNS-BC

AJN, American Journal of Nursing: December 2010 - Volume 110 - Issue 12 - p 49-51
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000391242.75887.17
Feature Articles

Overview: Nearly everyone will experience motion sickness at some point. It's thought to be caused by confusion among the vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems; the associated nausea is thought to involve neurons in the hypothalamus and a portion of the cerebral cortex. Although many remedies are available, none has been proven to be effective for everyone. Pharma cologic treatments include antihistamines, scopolamine, and gingerroot. Nonpharmacologic treatments include efforts to control gastric motility, such as wearing a wristband that stimulates the P6 acupressure point, and efforts to affect the vestibular, visual, and proprioceptive systems, such as facing forward, riding at the front of a boat, and looking toward the horizon, among others. Nurses can help patients find the remedy that works best for them.

Nurses can help patients with this distressing illness find the remedy that works best for them.

Dorothy G. Herron is a clinical professor of nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Nursing. Contact author:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.