Repeated motion causes disturbance of the inner ear while travelling resulting in changes in a person’s sense of stability, commonly referred to as motion sickness. It can happen to anyone while travelling by any mode of transport on land, air or water but children, pregnant women and migraine prone people are the most affected. Whether it is sheer bad luck or due to genetics the thrill of travelling or enjoyment of adventurous road trip gets spoilt if one suffers from dizziness, headaches, cold sweats, nausea, etc as a result of car motion sickness. At the same time, it is strange that many people travel without any discomfort as well. But fortunately, like every other problem, car motion sickness also has solutions. It is worth trying certain strategies to feel more comfortable.

Modifying travel ways  

1. The person suffering from motion sickness should drive the car or sit in the front seat. Focusing on the road in front and concentrating at a fixed point, such as a tree, a building or simply somewhere at the eye level is a distraction from symptoms, as the eyes, inner ear and body interprets the same input. Looking out through side windows should be avoided. Best method is to drive the car as the brain gets engaged in predicting the motion.

2. The inside of the car should be cool and well ventilated either by opening the windows or turning on the AC and pointing the vents towards your face. Bad odours also get eliminated in this way.

3. You should rest your head properly on the headrest or neck pillow to keep the head and vision ahead steady.

4. If going on a long journey then take frequent breaks in between and sit outside for a while. Take deep breaths to feel relaxed.

5. If you are not driving then you can have a nap to avoid being aware of differences in your visual information and body signals. It works amazingly during long travels. Conversation is the most effective way to get away from anxiety of inability in handling the situation.

6. Diverting attention by listening to music, playing word games with fellow riders or singing is effective for children or back seat riders to avoid sickness.

7. Books, phones, gaming devices should be avoided as looking at fixed point inside the car worsens your sickness. Instead, you can use audio books to get entertained.

8. Relaxation techniques like slow breathing exercise helps a lot so you can try it too.

9. The more plain sailing the ride is the fewer chances of being affected by motion sickness. So travelling in highways on smoother roads provides freedom from bitter experience. Try to drive in off-peak times, if possible.

Altering food habits

1. Avoid oily foods and hard drinks before car journey to get rid of sickness symptoms. If going on a long road trip, try to have small but frequent low fat, high protein meals. If going on a short distance ride, avoid meal till you reach your destination.

2. Store plain, bland and low flavoured or flavourless snacks in the car while travelling to help a stormy stomach.

3. It is necessary to stay hydrated before and during car journey by taking small sips of water in between. Sometimes beverages help to distract from unwanted feeling of nausea and reeling. Ginger ale, ginger tea and ginger sodas are the best drink besides water. Consuming ginger in the form of lozenges, pills, candies and cookies are the best to satiate hunger pangs as well as to reduce car motion problem. But make sure that the edibles are made from real ginger, not artificial flavours.

4. Relish mint chocolates, chewing gums inside car because it helps in creating more saliva and balancing stomach acids. They are natural cure for nausea and vomiting too.

Car motion sickness can be handled well by changing lifestyles and trying home remedies. However, if it still persists, consult a doctor.

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