If you spend enough time on the water, you’ll eventually experience seasickness. And even for the hardiest of sailors, there are few effective cures except sitting under a tree.
Physiologically, seasickness results from a confusion between different parts of your body’s balance mechanism.
The inner ear houses a network of fluid‐filled channels sensitive to gravity and motion called the vestibular system. Usually, the information sent from here to the brain corresponds with the signals from the other senses, such as vision.
According to our eyes, we’re stationary relative to our immediate surroundings, yet the vestibular system registers constant motion. The result is that our bodies release a deluge of stress hormones resulting in symptoms such as nausea, headaches and dizziness.
- In some cases, being on deck with a view of the horizon can alleviate some symptoms; fresh air certainly helps. Generally speaking, keeping busy helps with the worst symptoms.
- Fluid intake is essential. Seasickness can become a serious medical problem if dehydration occurs in the patient.
- Avoid allowing the patient to vomit overboard in an unobserved position.
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications can help with seasickness , especially if taken the night before departure and again the following day. However, be sure to inform the doctor or pharmacy if you intend to go diving, to ensure there are no potential complications with the medication.
- Always treat seasickness seriously and with compassion. No matter how experienced you are, circumstances such as extreme weather, darkness or the compounding effects of another illness are likely to cause sickness in you one day.