A few tips on avoiding car sickness

What causes car sickness?

Car sickness, also known as – motion sickness, is a very common problem caused by a disturbance of the inner ear. It results from repeated motion from the vehicle causing a conflict between the eyes and ears. This is when the inner ears are detecting the movement of the car but the eyes are focused within the car and do not detect the motion. The brain now receives conflicting signals and is responsible for the result of the sickness.

Here are a few of the more serious symptoms of car sickness:

  • headache

  • nausea

  • vomiting

  • sweating

  • short breath

  • dizziness

  • drowsiness


Here are some tips that you can follow to avoid car sickness:

Choosing the right foods: Eat fairly bland foods before and while travelling. Avoid foods with strong odours, any spicy or greasy foods and the consumption of alcohol. Try to stay clear from any foods that have upset your stomach in the past. Ginger or any type of ginger candies and drinks have been strongly believed to help with the prevention of motion sickness and is even available in tablet form.

Look around at the scenery: Stay away from reading books, watching movies and playing video games because they can all cause your sickness to worsen. Gaze towards the horizon and simply keep looking out of the window of the vehicle – preferably out of the front window, in the direction you are moving. Calling shotgun can reduce those conflicting signals in your brain. This will also help to re-orient your inner sense of balance by providing a visual reaffirmation of the direction you are moving in.

Take short breaks: Stop the car for walk and get some fresh air. Giving yourself a break might relieve you of the queasy feeling.

Use medication: Usually best when taken before travelling. You can either try using some of the over the counter meds, such as Benadryl, or you can get a prescription from your doctor for a more effective medication.

When all else fails, be prepared and just have a few plastic bags (or something like a emesis bag) in your car for those car sick emergencies.


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