- Posted August 14, 2013 by
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100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips
Car Sickness Remedy Tips
If you get car sick, you most likely dread every single extended road trip. Car sickness is just one kind of motion sickness (or kinetosis) that some experience when they're riding in an automobile. Dizziness, fatigue and nausea might make the trip miserable. So how do you go about preventing car sickness in the first place? Here are some ways to enjoy the ride, sickness-free.
Take steps to prevent nausea. Since nausea is the most debilitating symptom of car sickness, it's always good to take precautionary measures. Ginger root is a classic remedy because of its widely recognized antiemetic (nausea-preventing) effects. Keep in mind, however, that many medications which are normally effective against nausea might not work against nausea caused by motion sickness.
- Eat a few ginger biscuits (cookies) before you go, during the journey, and after you arrive. If you are traveling a long distance, you could also consider taking ginger tea in a thermos. Peppermint tea is another good alternative. Cold drinks could include ginger ale or ginger beer (soda).
- Other good things to try eating are ginger candies (chewable), ginger coated in sugar (if you don't mind the heat of ginger) or ginger mints.
- You can also take over-the-counter ginger root caplets that will supply a concentrated dosage of ginger (1 to 2 caplets will work well for most adults.) They are commonly available at health food stores and larger grocery stores.
- Fresh mint can also cure or alleviate nausea. Buy it in the produce section of the supermarket. It doesn't have the drowsiness side-effect of over-the-counter nausea medicine. Start by eating 2 leaves and feel free to eat more if you need it.
- Keep a peppermint candy (or just about any long lasting hard candy) in your mouth. This method will work very well even after feelings of nausea have begun. Do not chew the candy because feelings of nausea may return fairly quickly after the candy is gone. For those whose nausea is worsened by the smell or taste of peppermint, lemon drops may prove helpful.
- Rubbing alcohol wipes are useful as well for nausea. These are purchased at a medical supply store or in a regular drug store back by the pharmacy. Tear open a wipe and sniff gently as you pass it past your nose. This works very well
- Listening to music can help keep your mind off the sickness.
Look out the front window. Watching the passing scenery can confirm your balance system's detection of motion and help resolve the mismatch that causes car sickness. Focus on a non-moving object in the distance, such as the horizon. Don't do anything that involves focusing on a fixed spot, such as reading or playing a card game. Don't turn around or look from side to side much.
Understand why car sickness happens. All motion sickness results from your body sensing a discrepancy between what you see (in this case, the inside of a car, which tells your brain that you're sitting still) and what you feel (your body's vestibular system, which senses balance from your inner ear, tells your brain that you're moving). The conflict between what you see and what you feel triggers the production of a neurotransmitter, likely mistaken by your body as a signal of hallucinogenic poisoning, so your body tries to rid itself of whatever is causing the disorienting condition.
Close your eyes. Sleep if you can. If your eyes are closed, you don't see anything, and that removes the cause of motion sickness. In addition, sleeping can take your mind off of your car sickness.
Sit in the front. Consider driving (if possible). Drivers rarely get car sickness as they are always focused on the road. Sitting in the passenger's seat up front is the next best thing. Not only will you have more window space to look through, but in some cars, the ride tends to be less bumpy in the front. If driving is not possible or desirable, visualize driving or pretend you are driving. This can often prevent or alleviate nausea.
Open the window. Many people find that smelling fresh, cool air helps make them feel better, although the reason behind this isn't clear. If it is not possible to open the window, lean towards the bottom of the window and breathe. There should be leaks of air. Some people find that certain smells can make them feel worse (such as car air fresheners, perfumes, smoke, and food). Remove the source of the smell if possible, or keep fresh air coming in. If neither is possible, spray a soothing smell like lavender or mint to cover up the other smells. See Tips below.
Take breaks. Go outside to stretch your legs. Sit on a bench or under a tree and take some deep breaths in through your mouth, breathing deeply from your stomach to help relax. This is especially important during journeys that involve a long distance of curvy roads. Not only does stopping frequently help alleviate car sickness, but it is also good for the driver to take a break.
Practice acupressure. If you feel that you might be getting car sick, apply gentle pressure on your forearm (between the two tendons) about 3cm (about an inch) or so back from the wrist joint. You can also purchase a wrist band that will do this for you. This should temporarily delay or alleviate nausea until you can take a break from the trip. You can also purchase accu-pressure bands at a local pharmacy.
Use medication that prevents car sickness. There are over-the-counter and prescription drugs that are effective against car sickness. Most of them contain dimenhydrinate, meclizine or scopolamine. Some popular brands are Dramamine and Bonine/Antivert. Look into the side effects before using any of these drugs (especially if you're driving), and ask your doctor just in case. Some of these are available as patches and can be particularly helpful. Antihistamines can prevent nausea caused by motion sickness by dulling the inner ear's motion sensors. This medication is able to block the part of the brain that controls nausea and needs to be taken before motion sickness occurs. Antihistamines can make you feel sleepy and affect your ability to operate machinery.
|This iReport is part of an assignment that we created with Travel + Leisure: 100 Ways to Travel Better: Your tips|