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Seasickness – Causes, Symptoms, Prevention, and Medications



Seasickness – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatment, and Remedies

New York (USA), October 28, 2012

Seasickness is motion sickness that occurs onboard a sailing boat or ship. It is known as ‘mal de mer’ in French. It occurs due to the rocking motion of the vessel on sea. Seasickness does not affect everyone. Some develop symptoms even with the slightest motion. Some others feel seasick even if the vessel on a dry dock. Just the swaying motion causes unbalance.

Seasickness Symptoms

Some veterans could suddenly develop symptoms even after sailing many times. Some others never show any symptoms of seasickness. Different ships have different rocking motions. You may develop seasickness suddenly in a sailing yacht although you may not have had any symptoms in your earlier expeditions. The specific rocking motion of this sailing vessel affects you.

Seasickness Causes

While on land, your body posture remains straight as center of gravity is focused over your feet. You view all other objects maintaining your center posture. While onboard a sailing vessel, vision gets affected, as all other objects seem to be moving with your yacht. This causes confusion.

Three fluid-filled semicircular canals within your ear constitute vestibular system. When your body moves, fluid within these canals also move. They indicate direction and speed of movement. The most common movement is horizontal direction as in walking. Ships move in different directions like swaying, rolling, and combination of different movements. This causes fluids to move vertically. Your eyes and ears send confusing signals to brain resulting in seasickness.

Seasickness causes nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and an overall feeling of being unwell. Prolonged vomiting can cause dehydration. Seasickness is not fatal. Seasickness can be a matter of concern if you have to maneuver the yacht over stormy seas avoiding rocks and other dangers.

Seasickness Preventive Measures

Seasickness may not affect everyone. Yet few preventive measures can work wonders against seasickness. These include:

1. Spend more time on the deck breathing in fresh air and steadying your gaze at the horizon to maintain your equilibrium.

2. Book an outside cabin with a windowsill in the middle of your yacht. This offers a natural balance and the window allows you to gaze at the horizon.

3. If cruising on the sea for the first time, choose port intensive cruises. This way you spend fewer days on board your yacht. Avoid long voyages.

4. Prefer sailing on large and modern sailing vessels. These have inbuilt stabilizers that minimize rocking movements and you do not feel seasick at all.

5. Take seasickness medication before it sets in. This works better.

6. Avoid fried and greasy food. Eat light food.

7. Keep your mind occupied and focused on something else so that it does not register change in movements.

8. Block one ear with your finger. This prevents fluid within from moving and causing seasickness.

Seasickness Medications

1. Common seasickness remedies include Dramamine and Bonine. These are easily available across all medical shops.

2. Scopolamine patches worn behind the ear can treat seasickness. These patches remain effective for three days. Scopolamine pills in prescribed dosage are also effective in preventing nausea.

3. Special acupressure wristbands worn an inch and a half above wrist on the underside of your arm can prove effective against seasickness. This is the most popular remedy for seasickness.

4. Taking ginger pills, drinking ginger tea, or sucking on crystallized ginger can prevent seasickness. Ginger pills have fewer side effects than other drugs.

Guide to Sailing and Ocean Cruising in a Medium Sized Yacht
The Complete Reference Guide to Sailing and Ocean Cruising in a Medium Sized Yacht


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