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Preventing Motion Sickness at Sea

Seasickness Prevention - Nausea and vomiting at sea (pelagism) more often than not is caused by the boat rock and roll motion resulting in brain confusion and mental disarray.

Trying to avoid, prevent, and treat motion sickness while sailing at sea - called seasickness - is a nauseating inconvenience for some and an absolute wretched nightmare for others.

Apart from abandoning the ship, we have some tips to avoid sea sickness and practical suggestions to help you reduce the onset of nausea and attempt to control dizziness.

Seasickness Prevention Tips

Preventing Motion Sickness at SeaMental confusion is the primary reason why some boat passengers get motion sickness.

Your feet convince you that you are standing or sitting on solid ground but other parts of your body disagrees and remind your brain about the rocking and rolling motion of the boat on the sea.

The result is brain confusion and you get sick.

CDC studies suggest that almost one 100 per cent of boat passengers will suffer a form of queasy motion sickness if the ocean is rough, and some people experience naupathia (a sickly shade of green around the gills) any time they are sitting on a vessel that is traveling on water, irrespective of the sea conditions.

Scientific research about seasickness prevention shows that pelagism is mostly hereditary, meaning that the sensory mismatch gene is likely to be passed down to you by your parents.

Sea Sickness Tip 1. Avoid Looking Down

The first step of seasickness prevention, and the cure in some cases, is to look out towards the stable horizon not down into the water. Targeting your view on the horizon encourages your eyes and inner ears to send uniform signals to your brain, instead of mixed messages. Avoid reading or focusing your eyes on a moving target.

Try to find a central position on the boat and low down near sea level. The unstable rock and roll movement of the boat will be less amplified on lower decks than it will be on the top deck. If you can find somewhere to lie down and close your eyes this will help to give your brain a no-motion signal.

Sea Sickness Tip 2. Drink Coke

It has been reported that drinking Coke may help to calm your nauseated stomach. Coca cola contains some sugars and phosphoric acid which are also found in many anti-nausea drugs. You could also consider taking Emetrol which is an over-the-counter anti-emetic drug and helps to relieve nausea and vomiting.

Other tips to avoid sea sickness or suppress nausea that we have found on the market includes acupressure bands such as Sea-Band and Acuband. Medical patches like Transderm Scop release a drug that reduces the activity of the inner ear nerve fibers. But please remember that most medication and pills need some hours to take effect and always follow the manufacturer's safety guidelines.

Sea Sickness Tip 3. Stay Sober

Tips to avoid sea sickness have to include your alcohol intake. We would never suggest engaging in boat travel when you are suffering with a hangover but alcohol, dehydration, and fatigue increase the likelihood of seasickness. Eat a small meal before embarkation.

There are some foods to avoid more than others, such as greasy foods and acids, but a light snack may help to settle your belly. Anxiety is also thought to contribute to seasickness.

Sickness or Vomiting Onboard

If your methods of seasickness prevention fail and you think that you may actually throw up, be aware of the early warning signs and symptoms like headache, excessive burping, and body chill. Move towards the lee side of the boat - downwind - and take someone with you to supervise your sickness to stop you falling overboard while vomiting over the rail or into a bucket.

Inform the boat crew of your illness and they will advise you where it is best to be sick. After you have emptied your stomach you are likely to feel a little better although you may not fully recover until you reach dry land.

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