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How to Prevent & Cure Sea Sickness

Rough seas boat

There's nothing worse than getting seasick while out on the water. Sea sickness, also known as motion sickness or seasickness, is a condition that occurs when there is a disconnect between what your eyes see and what your inner ear (vestibular system) senses. It often happens when you are on a boat, and the vessel's motion creates conflicting signals between these two systems.

Seasick passenger

The symptoms of seasickness include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and cold sweats. In some cases, seasickness can be mild, but it may be completely incapacitating for others. The good news is that there are several measures you can take to prevent sea sickness or minimize its effects.

Here are five tips to prevent sea sickness:

1. Choose the Right Location

Location in reference to where you are sailing and where you are located on the vessel are both important. As for sailing location, lakes and rivers tend to be calmer than most portions of the oceans or bays. If you’re lucky enough to travel internationally, the Gulf of Mexico or the Caribbean are typically calmer waters than the Atlantic Ocean. However, somewhere you will absolutely want to avoid if you get seasick is the Black Sea, known to have the roughest water conditions in the world. Research the waters you will be sailing and the time of year to see roughly how choppy the water may be.

It is important to strategically choose the right seat or location on the vessel to avoid seasickness. If you're on a boat, try to sit near the center of the vessel, where the movement is less noticeable. This can help reduce the swaying sensation. If you have the option, an outdoor deck with a view of the horizon can also help your brain adjust to the sensory discrepancies and reduce nausea. The fresh air of the outdoors can also help alleviate nausea.

2. Focus on the Horizon

Looking at a fixed point on the horizon can help your brain stabilize the conflicting signals. A focal point on the horizon provides a helpful point of reference, allowing you to perceive the difference between your own natural motion and the motion of the ship. Avoid staring at objects inside the ship or boat, as it can increase the sensation of motion.

3. Eat Light & Stay Hydrated

Before embarking on your voyage, eat a light and digestible meal. Avoid heavy, greasy, or spicy foods before and during your trip. Do not avoid eating entirely, as it can make seasickness worse. Also, make sure to bring extra drinking water on your journey. Dehydration can amplify the effects of sea sickness. Steer clear of alcohol and caffeine, as they contribute to dehydration and additional disorientation or nausea.

4. Take Medication

Natural or over-the-counter medications can be used to prevent or alleviate seasickness. One natural remedy is ginger, which has natural anti-nausea properties. You can try ginger candies, ginger tea, or ginger supplements to help reduce the symptoms of seasickness.

If you often have motion sickness or want to bring along medication to prevent seasickness, there are also great over-the-counter options. Over-the-counter antihistamine medications like dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) and meclizine (Bonine) can be effective in preventing motion sickness.

There are also prescription medications available if your seasickness is severe and you are on the water often. If this is you, consider consulting a healthcare professional for prescription medications. These can offer stronger relief, but always follow your doctor's recommendations. Consult with a healthcare professional before taking any type of medication, as some may cause drowsiness or have side effects.

5. Wear an Acupressure Wristband

Some people find relief by wearing acupressure wristbands while on boats, which apply pressure to specific points on the wrist known to alleviate nausea. Acupressure wristbands apply gentle pressure to specific points on your wrist known to relieve nausea or vomiting. Wear them before and during your voyage for a drug-free alternative to combat sea sickness. A popular brand of acupressure wristbands is called Sea-Band.

Seasickness doesn't have to spoil your ocean experiences. By following these prevention and cure tips, you can confidently embark on any boat or ocean adventure. Remember, what works for one person may not work for another, so don't be afraid to experiment and find the best solution for you. Whether you're cruising the Caribbean or fishing in the Pacific, with these tactics, smooth sailing awaits you! Bon voyage!


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