Nausea in the car

Nausea in the car As soon as you pick up a book while driving or look at your cell phone for too long, dizziness and nausea set in. How does it happen? In fact, the culprit for travel sickness is our brain. It reacts to contradictory motion stimuli with a stress reaction, which eventually leads to nausea. But fortunately, there are proven remedies and simple tricks to combat nausea in the car or make sure it doesn't happen in the first place.

Nausea while driving: How it happens

Parents also know it all too well. No sooner have a few kilometers been covered in the car than they hear from the back seat "Mom, I feel sick!". In fact, children are particularly often affected by nausea while driving. In addition, it is mainly women who suffer from long car journeys.

Whether it's on winding coastal roads, negotiating narrow switchbacks in the mountains, or simply during stop-and-go traffic on the highway in vacation traffic, nausea while driving can be quite unpleasant – because we can't enjoy the gorgeous scenery passing by the window, nor can we relieve the boredom once the drive takes longer. Nausea in the car is a form of travel sickness, doctors also speak of "kinetosis".

Nausea in the car

As with all forms of kinetosis, different sensory impressions occur in these situations, which simply cannot be "put together" in the brain."It usually affects the passenger who is opening a book or looking out of the window, rather than the person behind the wheel. For example, we may fix an object in the car (z.B. A book), but our equilibrium organ and our muscles send the signal "movement" by the vehicle movement.

The visual stimulus and the stimulus that is sent to the brain via the organ of equilibrium do not match. The result is an excessive release of the neurotransmitter histamine. Nausea and sometimes vomiting are experienced.

Car nausea is particularly common in children under 12 years of age. This also applies to other forms of motion sickness such as seasickness. The reason: Certain areas of the brain are not yet fully developed. They may also be lacking in training. Read more about travel sickness in children.

In addition, doctors suspect that head movements caused by vehicle movements can also cause the typical symptoms of travel sickness, at least in sensitive people. Because not everyone reacts equally violently to the contradictory sensory stimuli. A study has shown that fixing the head can significantly reduce the severity of the complaints – which unfortunately is difficult to implement in everyday life. However, it may help to fix a fixed point on the horizon as a passenger to keep your head as still as possible and prevent nausea.

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