Sea Sickness

What is seasickness?

This is a form of motion sickness caused by erratic stimulation to the brain from the sensory receptors. This is prompted by constantly changing movement.

What are the symptoms of seasickness?

Symptoms generally consist of dizziness, fatigue, and nausea, which may progress to vomiting.

Who is affected by seasickness?

Sea divers and those travelling by sea can be affected. It has been found that fear or anxiety can lower the threshold for experiencing symptoms, however some individuals seem to be prone to seasickness since childhood.

What causes seasickness?

Sea sickness is caused by changes in movement. It results from disparities between the signals sent to the brain by the vestibular organs and by other sense organs such as the eyes. Mixed signals may cause the brain to produce signals causing headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

How can I avoid seasickness?

  • Seek an area of lesser movement in an interior location of a large ship, or by facing forward and looking outside the ship. This spot can usually be found in the middle of the vessel, where you should stay as low as possible.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Avoid over-exerting yourself when at sea.
  • Avoid small cramped spaces.
  • Take preventive medications such as antihistamines, available over the counter which help to limit the symptoms of seasickness.
  • Ginger root may be helpful.
  • Wristband devices can be worn. These are straps with a stud, which exerts the requisite amount of pressure over the acupuncture point, providing relief.
  • If you have symptoms of sea sickness as a diver, avoid swimming, as this can be hazardous. Malaise and dizziness may impair judgement, and vomiting under water can be dangerous.

What can I do if I suddenly begin to feel ill on a ship?

  • Stay on deck for fresh air, taking slow breaths.
  • See if there is a ship doctor with suitable medication.
  • Apply cool packs of ice to the eyes and neck.
  • Avoid spicy or greasy food.
  • Avoid reading.
  • Focus your eyes on the horizon.

Is there any way of finding if I will suffer with seasickness?

Try reading a newspaper while in a moving car. If you have no problem with this, than you should have no problem with ships either.

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