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How to help prevent car sickness

One of the worst feelings you can encounter while travelling in a vehicle as a passenger is car sickness. Many times, people begin to feel nauseous when sitting in the back of a car, but fail to understand why. Read ahead to learn more about car sickness and what you can do to help prevent it going forward:

What is car sickness?

Car sickness (or motion sickness) occurs when there is some sort of conflict between your senses.  Your brain receives signals from your inner ears, eyes, and muscles to sense movement. If your brain receives mismatched signals, you may begin to feel nauseous.

This can happen when you’re reading a book or scrolling through your phone for an extended period of time. Your inner ear tells the brain that you’re moving, but your eyes trick your brain by telling it that you’re stationary. This mismatch is how motion sickness is created.

Below are some quick tips on how to combat car sickness:

Sit in the passenger’s seat

The closer you are to the front of the vehicle, the less motion you’ll experience. If you notice that you’re always in the back seat when you start to feel nauseous, ask to sit next to the driver on your next trip.

Drive smoothly

Ask the driver to avoid braking or accelerating suddenly, as any abrupt starting and stopping will only worsen any nausea and dizziness and could even cause you to vomit if it’s over a long enough period of time.  Of course, this can be tougher to avoid on a crowded highway.

Look ahead

If you want to know why drivers rarely feel motion sickness themselves, it’s because they’re concentrated on the road ahead, which helps to give their brain a sense of movement.

If you’re in the front seat, make sure to look out the window and fixate on a certain point. As you continue to drive, the point or landmark should appear closer and closer, signaling to your brain that you are, in fact, moving.

Avoid reading

As mentioned earlier, looking at a book or your phone for an extended period of time can send mixed messages to your brain. If you notice that you’re beginning to feel nauseous, take a break from your phone or book for five-to-ten minutes and see if you begin to feel better.

Try ginger or mint

Both ginger and mint are considered great natural remedies for motion sickness. If you’re feeling nauseous, ask the driver if they can stop at a nearby coffee shop or grocery store so you can grab a mint tea or ginger beverage.

Medication

If all else fails you can try out medication. Ideally, you’d like to avoid taking medication if possible, but many people often feel better after taking over-the-counter drugs such as Benadryl.  Just be warned that these kinds of medications could make you drowsy.

 

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