Read in a Car


Without Nausea, Fatigue, Headache or Dizziness

It’s the looking down that gets you

It is the act of looking down, while seeing motion with your side vision out the side window, which causes the symptoms to develop.  Reading has nothing to do with it.  Using one or more of the following methods should enable you to read in a car without one of more of the typical symptoms of motion sickness;  headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness or cold sweats you have experienced previously.

Methods to prevent symptoms

  • Slouch down in the seat and hold the reading material up close to eye level.  In this way by not looking down, you avoid the development of symptoms.  Your line of sight is then the same as the line of visual motion out the side window.  
  • Or turn your back to the window on your side of the car.  In this way your eyes do not see the motion out of the side window closest to you.
  • Or hold your right hand up as a “blinder” to block the view from the  window closest to you.   In this way, you can look down because you observe no motion from the side window.

Why The Symptoms Occur

Fatigue, headaches, nausea or dizziness when reading in a car are actually symptoms of motion sickness.  About five out of 10  (50%) females and two out of ten (20%) males are born with an “allergic or hyper-sensitive reaction” to visual motion and thus, can’t read in a car.  Symptoms may vary with road conditions, fatigue, how close road side objects, such as trees or bridges are, and whether the sun is shining through trees.

Also, reading at night, in a lighted car, is much easier because one does not see as much motion out the side windows.  This is why carsickness at night is rare.

If You Have Serious Car Sickness Even When Not Reading

  • Be the driver if possible, or at least sit in the front seat.
  • Always look at the road straight ahead if possible.  Especially avoid looking out the side window at things close to the road which require more eye movement.
  • Drive at night if you have to.
  • Consider wearing anti-motion sickness wristbands, which work on the acupressure principle.  They are available in drug stores.
  • An electronic anti-motion sickness wristband, called the ReliefBand works for many.

A program of eye exercises called Dynamic Adaptive Vision Therapy offers a permanent cure for all degrees of motion sickness in most cases.  It consists of precisely prescribed desensitizing exercises that are done at home each day for a few weeks.