Dealing with Seasickness
Motion sickness is something we hear about all the time in our industry, but people get motion sick all the time, when put in motion in a boat, car, airplane or even roller coaster. Medically, motion sickness is a result of your brain experiencing temporary balance and sensory confusion. The vestibular system of the inner ear sends messages to your brain about your body’s position, but constant change of your body’s position contradicts the information relayed by your eyes. Eventually, most people adjust to their unnatural environment, once the brain determines that the confused sensory signals are now the norm. However, dealing with nausea, cold sweats, drowsiness, and other symptoms can be a real pain, which is why we have provided a few tips for you to knock out your sea sickness.
The sooner you become accustomed to the motion of the boat, the sooner you can beat your seasickness, and that all starts with moving around. Lying down or sitting may help you feel better in the short term, but it won’t help you adapt to your surroundings in any way. Other things that require close visual focus such as reading, or looking at your smartphone will make symptoms worse and should be avoided.
There are quite a few medications out there to help treat or prevent seasickness, and what works for some may not work for others. The only way to know for sure is to try different things, and to start off small. Start off with a non-prescription drug, as they typically make you less drowsy and treat a majority of cases. If the non-prescription drugs are not effective, pay your doctor a visit and request a prescription medication.
Anti-nausea medication should typically be taken one or two hours before you would expect symptoms to start up. Like all drugs, seasickness medications may have adverse side effects. If you have a history of drug side effects, or allergies to particular drugs, be sure to check labels or consult your family physician. If it is possible, take the medication a day or two in advance, as you would rather experience those side effects on land than on a boat.
Here’s a list of some more remedies to try:
- Ginger: Used for hundreds of years, raw ginger, ginger tea, ginger pills, ginger ale and ginger snaps are all things to try. Ginger has a natural anti-nausea effect on the body, which helps soothe some symptoms.
- Calm Seas: Contains natural ingredients including ginger.
- Bonine: One of the top over the counter medications on the market.
- Scopolamine: A patch worn by the ear, meant for preventing vomiting from motion sickness.
- Dramamine: Another over the counter medication that also comes in non-drowsy formulas.
- Coast Guard Cocktail: A combination of the Ephedrine and Promethazine drugs. Promethazine is an antihistamine that prevents the motion sickness, but also has drowsy effects. Ephedrine acts as a stimulant that counteracts those drowsy side effects.
- Stay in the Middle: move around, but stay in the middle of the boat to reduce the amount of unnatural motion your body goes through. If you are near a window or have an open view, try to focus your vision the horizon.
- Sea Bands – Wristbands that work on acupressure nausea points on the wrists called the neikuan point.
Contrary to popular belief, an empty stomach makes most people feel worse. However, try not eat anything too heavy, or eat or drink too much dairy. Ginger products and saltine crackers are usually a good go to.
Of course, the need to vomit is a fairly common symptom of being nauseated, and sometimes people better after vomiting. Be sure to let someone know where you are if you need to go outside or over to the rail.
Although seasickness is not typically life threatening, it can develop into something more serious if left untreated. Sometimes, the constant nausea becomes prolonged and it takes a long time for people to recover. Dehydration can become dangerous, so be sure it is taken care of, especially if sea sickness lasts longer than a day. In the end, the best treatment involves getting off the boat and receiving medical attention if necessary.
Seasickness is your body’s natural reaction of putting it in an unnatural state, and it affects nearly everyone on different levels. In most cases, it gets better after a few days, and symptoms lessen after every time you travel on a boat.
Want to learn more about the science behind motion sickness? Take a look at the video below put together by asapSCIENCE.