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Tips to Avoid Car Sickness

Car sickness (Motion Sickness) can make an otherwise pleasant trip in the car miserable. Despite this, many people don’t take any steps to remedy this problem. Thankfully, there are things that you can do to combat the unpleasant effects of this disorder.


Car Sickness

Why it Happens

The reason that car sickness occurs is because the brain detects a conflict between what you see and what you feel. Your eyes tell that you are sitting still inside the car but your inner ear tells that you are in motion. The brain responds by assuming that your eye or ear is hallucinating, and it attributes this hallucination to a poison in the body. The reason for nausea is that your brain is trying to rid your body of this nonexistent poison. More than half of children between the age of four and ten experience this sickness.

1. Medications

You can help avoid the problem by planning ahead. If you get car sickness often, it is a good idea to take Dramamine before going on a car trip, which curbs nausea. Benadryl, Marezine, and Bonine can also help. If the problem is especially disruptive, you can talk to your doctor about prescription medications to help you deal with the sickness.

2. Foods and Smells

Ginger is also known to help guard against motion sickness. Candies, teas, and foods containing ginger or mint are known to be helpful. For whatever reason, smelling alcohol wipes has also been known to help.

3. Eating and Drinking Habits

Smaller meals are less likely to induce nausea. Alcohol should be avoided, even if the person experiencing the car sickness is not the one who is driving, since it can greatly contribute to the upset stomach. Overeating should be avoided, and any food that makes you feel more full than you really are should be avoided as well. It is especially easy to fill up your stomach with liquids, so try to drink more liquids and fill your stomach. Some people experience motion sickness more severely if they consume foods that are especially spicy or high in fat and some people are more prone to nausea when they take certain foods, these should be avoided, especially before a car ride.

4. Focus on Distant Objects

Since the sickness is the result of a conflict between perceptions, the symptoms can be combated by altering your perceptions. Through the front window look at non-moving objects that are at a far distance. Watching the scenery, rather than what is happening inside the car, puts your perceptions back into alignment by confirming that you are actually moving. It is especially helpful to keep your eyes on far off points that are close to the horizon.

5. Sit in the Front Seat

The front seat of the car experiences a less bumpy ride than the back seat. If you know driving then go for it because drivers generally don’t get car sickness as they have their attention on road.

6. Close Your Eyes

Simply close your eyes as it really helps. Keeping your eyes closed stops sending a message that conflicts with the inner ear, the discrepancy in the brain is alleviated and the sickness often goes away. Sometimes simply visualizing that you are driving the car can help with the sickness, because it contributes to the idea that you are moving.

7. Elevated Car Seat

Children should be given elevated car seat that lets them to see the visuals outside. You should advise them not to play video games or read while they are in the vehicle.

8. Open the Windows

Cool fresh air may reduce the effects of nausea. Keeping the body itself ventilated by wearing loose clothing also helps. If possible, taking occasional break is better. Strong odors should also be avoided, as they can further contribute to the idea that a poison of some kind is the source of the sickness. Smoking inside the car is also not advisable.

One Response to “Tips to Avoid Car Sickness”

  1. Yep – I’ve suffered my whole life with motion sickness. I’ve also used Psi Bands (acupressure) on my wrists and it helps to some extent.


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