motion sickness

I never had motion sickness as a child apart from one occasion where my father was driving through country roads and went round 10 huge roundabouts - but that isn’t so suprising. In fact I use to read loads which people say you can’t do with motion sickness.

Howevever, I’ve noticed more often than not over the last 3 years I seem more and more prone to motion sickness in a car. Though I’ve never actually been sick I’ve come very close, and on occasions afterwards it has taken a good 1hour after to recover. I never really thought too much about it and to be honest our car was sold for scrap over new year so the occasions I’ve been sat in one is few recently. I also just thought maybe it was my partners driving.

This weekend I was visitng my parents and felt terrible in the car when my dad or sister were driving. I felt sick and as if everything was spinning - I didn’t even want to shut my eyes as that felt worse.

I guess it made me wonder whether other people with MS get motion sickness.



Hi Reemz,

I never had motion sickness untill after my first big relapse - i always assumed mine was tied in with the vertigo though. Have you ever had vertigo?

Know exactly what you mean about closing your eyes making it worse, feels like im going to pass out. I tend to stare at my legs or my feet just to give me something motionless to concentrate on!

Mine has eased a bit since the relapse passed, it’s still there when i’m in the car with some drivers- but i think thats just my dislike of others driving!

Laura x

Hi Reemz

There was quite a nice simple explanation about motion sickness on James May’s programme Things You Need to Know … About Brains. It’s only available on BBC i-player for 1 day so you will have to be quick to watch it. Actually the whole programme was very interesting although also a little frustrating as it focused on what happens when the brain functions normally and not what happens when things don’t work properly, for example with MS!!!

Tracey x

Hi Laura

No I’ve never had vertigo.

I’m not officially diagnosed - I’m possible MS. My two documented episodes have been largely centered round sensory issues though I did have bladder and bowel issues all be it mild compared to a lot of others.

I tend to lower the seat if I’m sat at the front so I’m not looking out of the front windscreen. It’s worse if there’s a lot of turning and start stop but generally not to bad if on the motorway/. Not sure what it would be like with me behind the wheel as I haven’t driven in 7 years - living in London there’s not much need for a car (thankfully).

I guess it just made me think as my partner commented how I seem to have car sickness more often than not nowadays.



Hi Tracey

Interesting programme: I learnt about the vestibular system at University but nice refresher. I guess it’s strange how I was never car sick ever before until 3 years back and now it seems to be more common. I wonder whats changed to make me that way… I guess one of those strange things I’ll never understand.

Not completely sure if it’s related to my neuro stuff anyhowbut was just curious :slight_smile:




I thought it was interesting that drivers rarely get motion sickness as they are focussed on looking ahead so it may actually be better if you do look out of the windscreen. It gives your brain a chance to tie up the sense of movement with the visual signs of movement. From memory the James May programme says that the problem is that your ears detect motion but if you concentrate on the inside of the car your brain thinks you are stationary so assumes you have been poisoned. Result = sickness.

I have only ever had motion sickness if I try to read or complete a crossword for instance. It doesn’t matter if I am driving, I always look out of the window.

Tracey x

I’ve experienced something similar - I used to read all the time in the car when I was younger, for hours on end. Then when I had my most recent bout of symptoms (not diagnosed, and have clear MRI so MS isn’t likely - I’ve just stayed here because everyone’s so supportive!) I got travel sick really easily and had to ask people to drive slower if I was in the car as I found being a passenger really difficult. I have had symptoms before, but like you lived in London at the time, so rarely got the experience of being in a car, so not sure if this would have been the same then.

One thing I do find makes a difference is light - it can be light or dark but if it’s constantly changing (because of clouds or whatever) then I get a lot worse. I’m back to being able to read in the car for short periods of time at least, but now only if the light on my book/Kindle stays the same.

Yes fast drivers, turning and a lot of stop start really doesn’t feel great. I was actually okay reading a road map in Israel for my partner as it was motorway and vey little turning and a steady speed. But then I felt so sick once I couldn’t even write a text.

For me looking out of the front and fixing doesn’t help at all. Like I mentioned I have to just lie my chair down or just curl up. I’m not sure about light - at one point I thought sunlight may make it worse but that’s not happened consistently.

My MRI showed non-specific lesions so I’m sort of in limbo at the moment. But majority of symptoms did improve until early this year.

Supposedly some anti-histamines can help - not sure which off the top of my head though. Maybe worth giving it a shot I guess if it’s very bad.