You’re cruising along, listening to your favorite road trip playlist and enjoying the views as your buddy is driving and then… you feel super ill. Motion sickness is no fun at all for both you and your road trip partners. Having to stop every few minutes to throw up will prolong your journey time and nobody likes to feel horrendously ill when they should be enjoying themselves.
If you’re one of the unlucky ones who suffer from motion sickness, there’s some good news – there are preventative measures which can reduce the chances of experiencing an episode, if not completely stopping one from happening.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at:
- What is motion sickness and what are the symptoms?
- What causes it?
- How can you prevent it?
What is Motion Sickness?
Motion sickness, also known as travel sickness, is the movement of fluid in your inner ear. Essentially, it happens with there is a difference between movement felt and visual stimulus.
It is thought that the sickness caused is actually the body’s defense mechanism to hallucinating. For example, when you’re looking at your phone in the car and feel sick, your brain has made the assumption that you are hallucinating, since the visual stimulus doesn’t match the physical movement. Your brain induces sickness, assuming that the hallucination is due to poison ingestion.
How Can You Prevent Motion Sickness?
It is important to understand that there are different types of motion sickness. One of the most normal or common forms is when motion is felt but not seen. This is often felt on a plane, when views are restricted to clouds or when the plane banks suddenly but you can’t see the tilt because of your limited view.
In a car, motion sickness of this kind is usually induced when you aren’t watching where you are going i.e. reading your phone or a book. This causes confusing stimulus, inducing your body’s defense response. Others feel sick even when they are looking. It is thought that this happens because most of your view is of the interior of the car yet your body feels the motion.
Since we have a better understanding of how and why your body is reacting in such a way, here’s what we can do:
- Sit in the front seat and make sure you’re watching out the front window
- Aim your gaze toward the horizon
- At night, close your eyes or try to nap
- Open the window to receive fresh air (foul or stale odors can worsen the sick feeling)
- Take an over-the-counter medicine
- Try tilting your head with the turns
- Ginger is often thought to be effective but studies show this is not true