How to Read in Car Without Getting Sick

March 12, 2024

Reading isn’t a dangerous activity in and of itself, but it can lead to some pretty unpleasant results while riding in a vehicle. Car sickness, also known as motion sickness, can be caused by the conflict between your vestibular system (your inner ear and joint/muscle sensors) sensing movement, and your eyes focused on text that appears to be stationary. These inconsistencies provoke a confusing response from the brain, which translates into symptoms like nausea and vomiting.

The best way to avoid getting sick while reading in the car is to take a few precautions beforehand. Make sure to eat a light snack before the ride and to bring along some water. Staying hydrated will help fend off dehydration, which can also trigger nausea and dizziness.

During the ride, try to read when you know the road is smooth and straight. When bumps or turbulence occur, it’s usually better to stop and stare out the window until things settle down. If you really want to read, choose a book that is easily digestible in short bursts. For example, you might opt for a light piece of humor or young adult fiction. This will prevent your eyes from needing to focus on text and will allow for natural breaks that will realign your sense of balance.

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