Have you experienced nausea to the point you vomit when driving your car? Is it a recurring experience? If yes, then you unquestionably suffer from travel sickness, a disorder known as motion sickness. Motion sickness is not one of the driving myths — it is real.
Driving is supposed to be fun, but motion sickness can literally turn everything upside down.
This disorder affects even seafarers, and they call it seasickness. Airplane passengers are not left out because some of them suffer from motion sickness when in the plane. According to one study, even 3-D movies have a version of motion sickness.
Being in a place with lots of motions going on, like in an amusement park ride, can also result in motion sickness. Reading a book or scrolling your phone while in motion also causes motion sickness.
One in three people suffer or have suffered from motion sickness. It is prevalent among women and children between 2-12 years of age.
Motion sickness also runs in the family, so if your family has a history of motion sickness, they can rub it on you.
Common Symptoms of Motion Sickness
- Cold Sweats.
- Short breath.
- Feeling uncomfortable.
- Feeling sickly.
- Rolling stomach.
What Causes Motion Sickness?
Some theories attempt to explain the real cause of motion or travel sickness, but the most convincing one states that the disorder originates from the brain. How?
Your brain senses your motions through various nervous system pathways such as your eyes, joint sensory receptors, skin pressure receptors, muscles, inner ear, etc. These motion-sensing pathways coordinate with the brain to ensure you move as you wish, whether you want to run, jog or walk.
However, coordination can get confused when you are seated in a moving object like a car. Your eyes can see that you are not moving, but your inner ears sense movement. Or, the eyes see movement while your muscles and joints are not moving.
This results in motion sickness because your central nervous system keeps receiving conflicting messages from your pathways or sensory systems. Therefore, your brain can’t make sense of what you are doing. It can’t tell whether you are moving or immobile. It is your brain’s confused reaction to these conflicting messages that cause travel sickness.
Motion sickness usually lasts as long as the travel. The moment you come to the end of your journey and stop the car, the symptoms associated with it will end. However, some people continue to experience the symptoms for days.
How to Deal with Motion Sickness
Driving while suffering from motion sickness can be hectic. So how do you deal with motion sickness as a driver?
1. Keep Your Eyes at the Horizon
It would help if you did not keep your eyes inside the car because your eyes will keep sending the message to the brain that you are immobile as the inner ear send contradicting message.
Keep looking at the direction you are driving to, far into the Horizon. Your eyes will see motion and reaffirm what other pathways are communicating.
Fortunately, this will help you keep your eyes always on the road, thereby avoiding in-car distractions.
2. Chew or Suck Something
Naturally, you thought of chewing gum. There are many types of chewing gums to choose from. Chewing gum is effective in lowering car sickness, but ensure it doesn’t distract you.
It has been found by some studies that ginger also helps to reduce travel sickness when driving, so having chewing gums laced with ginger is a plus for you. You can also suck candies with peppermint.
3. Acupressure Treatment
Some drivers with an extreme form of travel sickness have sought the hand of an acupressure practitioner. Some studies have claimed that acupressure can help reduce motion sickness symptoms, but this has not been verified.
There are some medications you can take before traveling to reduce motion sickness symptoms. These include Scopolamine, Cyclizine, and Promethazine. Do not take a medication whose side effects include drowsiness if you are driving.
Dramamine is another common option sold over the counter. It would be best if you always had some in your car. Take this pill 30-60 minutes before driving.
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can help reduce motion sickness. In other words, the more thirsty you are, the more you are likely to experience travel sickness. You should have enough water in the car to keep you from thirst.
6. Watch Your Diet
If you have motion sickness disorder, the types of food you eat can reduce or make it worse. You have to watch what you eat prior to driving.
Avoid spicy foods or excess fat. Foods with strong odors can also trigger the disorder. Once you realize a particular food worsens this disorder, avoid it when driving or about to. Generally, stick to light foods.
7. Keep Cool
Sweating can worsen your motion sickness so ensure you are warm in your car. Keep the air conditioner on to regulate the car. This will also keep foul odor like exhaust fumes out.
It would help if you had the air vents pointing at you to get the most out of your air conditioner.
8. Take a Break
Driving for long without a break can worsen your travel sickness, so you may have to stop after a while to regain your bearings.
Pull over at a gas station, for instance, and come out of the car for a while. Stretch your arms and legs, take deep breaths through the mouth.
Wrapping it up
Did you know that driving by itself reduces motion sickness? You will suffer less motion sickness when you drive than when you are just seated in the car. So, you should be on the wheel if you have chronic travel sickness!
You must never let motion sickness become a distraction to you to the point you cause a road accident. Apply the tips we have provided to keep it under check.
You can join Pierre Paul Driving School to learn how to drive with confidence.