Objective: To compare the effects of breathing supplemental oxygen vs air on alleviating motion sickness in healthy adults.
Subjects and methods: Between April and July 2002, 20 healthy subjects were exposed to a provocative motion on 2 occasions (1-week interval) according to a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design. During motion, subjects rated their nausea (1, no symptoms, to 4, moderate nausea) every 30 seconds. Once mild nausea occurred, subjects began breathing supplemental oxygen or air through a face mask. Motion ceased when moderate nausea occurred, but subjects continued breathing study gases for 5 minutes while recovering. Recovery was assessed for 20 minutes after motion.
Results: There were no significant differences in the rate of increase in symptom severity or the rate of recovery between the 2 conditions.
Conclusion: Breathing supplemental oxygen had no advantage over breathing air in reducing motion sickness in healthy adults.