How to Deal With Car Sickness

Two Methods:Dealing With Car/Motion Sickness SymptomsPreventing Car/Motion Sickness

Car (motion) sickness is a common problem faced by many people. Motion sickness is caused by a disagreement between the eyes and the inner ear. The inner ear tells the brain that the body is moving, but the eyes say that the body is motionless. This conflict leads to the many symptoms of motion sickness. Though there is no cure for this problem, there are some ways to make it less unpleasant.

Method 1
Dealing With Car/Motion Sickness Symptoms

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    Get fresh air. Some people may find fresh air soothes motion sickness. Simply opening a window or vent may help alleviate your symptoms. [1] If symptoms persist, stop the car, if possible, and get out to breathe in fresh air. The air may help, and stopping the ride should help too. In warm weather, some people benefit from turning on air conditioning, while others do better turning it off and getting natural air.
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    Block your view. Often, car sickness is caused by motion outside the car. For this reason, you may find relief when you block your view. Alternatively, special motion-blocking eyewear may accomplish the same result.
    • Simply closing your eyes may help, especially if you can fall asleep.
    • You can also try sunglasses or sleep masks to block your view enough to curtail the symptoms of car/motion sickness.
    • Dry eyes or fatigued eyes can also contribute to motion sickness. Using eye drops or splashing water on your face can help. Taking out contact lenses and using glasses instead may be beneficial.
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    Use ginger products. Some people benefit from ginger products to alleviate motion sickness. You can try ginger chews, ginger ale, ginger cookies, and many other ginger products. If you are prone to motion sickness, keep one or more of these products on hand to take if you should become sick.[2]
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    Eat something dry. Some data has shown that eating something dry, such as soda crackers, may help alleviate the symptoms of motion sickness. This is because the dry food may soak up excess acid in the stomach.
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    Try acupressure. Putting pressure on a particular point of your body may help treat the symptoms of motion sickness. Specifically, Nei Guan—acupressure point P6, on the underside of the wrist—may be pressed to help with an upset stomach.[3]
    • Locate by finding the area in which a wristwatch would lie. Find the mid-point on your wrist, which is a small "valley" which you can feel your tendons. Pressing your fingertip there should offer relief in about 10 seconds.
    • If you have a wristwatch or tight wristband, you can make a pressure band to help with motion sickness. Make a small wad or paper or paper-like substance (like a gum wrapper) about the size of a pea. Wedge this in the wristband as described in the pressure point above.

Method 2
Preventing Car/Motion Sickness

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    Prevent motion sickness-related nausea. Do not travel on an overly full or very empty stomach. Motion sickness is usually aggravated by a full stomach, so avoid heavy meals before travel. Any food that you know doesn't agree with you should be avoided. This includes foods that might make you feel too full as well as foods that are spicy or high in fat.[4]
    • Some people may also have trouble travelling on an empty belly.
    • Avoid having foods in the car that have strong odors as well, as this can also help prevent nausea.
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    Sit where you will feel the least amount of motion. Because motion sickness results from a discrepancy between the motion you feel versus the motion you see, choosing a seat where you do not feel as much motion (or any) could help you prevent car sickness. The front seat of a car usually is the best place.[5]
    • Never sit backwards of the direction of travel—this can hyper-activate car sickness.
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    Avoid visual stimuli for motion sickness. Some of the things that can make you get car sick are visual in nature. For instance, you should not read while traveling in a car. The movement can make it difficult to focus on the words, making reading while riding in a car dangerous for those who suffer from car/motion sickness.[6]
    • It might help to keep your gaze focused on a single point as your travel to help minimize the effects of car sickness.
    • If you are riding with someone else who gets car sick, seeing them get sick—or even talking about it—may trigger car sickness.
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    Use medication. Several over-the-counter medications including anticholinergics such as scopolamine, antispasmodics such as promethazine, and sympathomimetics such as ephedrine are available to help prevent motion sickness. Most of these contain a drug called meclizine, which is anti-nausea, as well as being an antihistamine and antispasmodic. It specifically targets the area of the brain that is related to motion to help prevent motion sickness that people can experience in cars (and other vehicles).[7]
    • If your motion sickness is especially bad, your doctor may prescribe scopolamine, which can be administered orally, intravenously, or topically (on the skin).
    • Always discuss drug interaction and side effects with your doctor or pharmacist before using prescription medication.
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    Consume ginger. Ginger can be used as an alternative medication that may be an effective way to prevent car sickness for some people. For prevention, you can mix 12 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of ginger powder with a glass of water and drink it down or take two ginger capsules 20 minutes before traveling.[8]
    • Keep ginger products on hand to aid in the prevention of car sickness. Carrying ginger candies or ginger cookies in your purse or pocket might come in handy.
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    Avoid smoking. Smoking can be a cause of motion sickness, so it is best to avoid smoking.[9] A small study showed that nicotine deprivation overnight avoided motion sickness susceptibility. [10] If you are a habitual smoker, you may be able to curtail your smoking in a variety of ways. For additional information, check out:


  • Looking at fast passing things sometimes makes you sick.
  • Always notify the driver when you begin feeling sick.
  • Take a deep breaths in order to calm yourself. Get your muscles moving steadily to help relieve the motion sickness.
  • Avoid closing your mouth when vomiting, it will end up coming through your nose.
  • Go to sleep! If you can't then try a medicine that helps you go to sleep, such as Melatonin.
  • If you have a history of car sickness, carry a plastic bag, such as a resealable Ziploc bag.
  • If the route you will be taking involves driving down curvy roads, plan for time to take breaks.
  • Some have found that holding your wrist sometimes helps. Wrist bands are available with balls in the middle to contact pressure points that may help control motion sickness.
  • Try to avoid traffic if possible.The constant starting and stopping doesn't help.
  • Try to nibble on crackers when you feel nauseous.


  • Women are generally more susceptible to car sickness than men. Pregnant women, children ages 2 to 12, and people experiencing disorders of the vestibular system or migraines are more susceptible to getting car sickness.[11]

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