What is Sea Sickness, Why Does it Happen, and How to Prevent It?

What is Sea Sickness, Why Does it Happen, and How to Prevent It?

Sea sickness is a form of motion sickness and occurs after spending some time on a craft on water. This type of sickness is brought about by the rocking motion of the craft and is characterized by nausea and in extreme cases, vertigo.  Some people are vulnerable to the condition after only a minor stimulus while some are immune, and others immune through exposure.

Causes or Triggers for Sea Sickness

Sea sickness is not a virus and is not infectious. There are some factors that can bring on sea sickness relatively quickly. These include going below deck for extended periods of time, looking through binoculars for long periods, and staring at objects your brain will interpret as stable (reading, needlework, and the like).

Preventing Sea Sickness

There are some methods to help deal with sea sickness without the use of medications. Here are some tips to help prevent sea sickness:

  1. Staying busy and keeping your mind occupied like fishing.
  2. Staying on deck in the fresh air.
  3. Take deep breaths and drink plenty of water.
  4. Don’t cruise on an empty stomach.
  5. Try and sleep off the sickness.
  6. Cruise in relatively calm waters.
  7. Cruise in vessels equipped with stabilizers to help eliminate the rocking motion that causes sea sickness.

All of these tips will help distract your brain from the rocking motion. Keeping occupied is important as it helps trick the brain into believing that you are uncomfortable from the constant rocking motion of the vessel. The fresh air also helps eliminate the sickness rather than staying indoors or in your cabin the whole time. While it may also be best not to cruise on an empty stomach, it should be remembered that fatty and spicy foods are not the best type of food to stock on before going on a cruise as this can trigger sea sickness.

Sea Sickness – don’t let it ruin your Offshore Sailfishing trip!

Sea Sickness – don’t let it ruin your fishing charter trip!

Sea Sickness is not a virus that is easily communicable. Yet, when people board ocean vessels or cruise ships, sea sickness is felt by majority of the passengers who have not come prepared.

What is Sea Sickness?

Sea sickness is a type of motion sickness caused by a disturbance in the vestibular system as it relates to the visual and proprioception systems of the brain. The vestibular system is the balance system found in the inner ear. Sea sickness is caused by the constant rocking motion of an ocean vessel, triggered by many factors such as focusing on close work, working in an enclosed environment, or bad smells.

Best Medications

There are a variety of medications used to prevent sea sickness. These are usually over the counter drugs which individuals can purchase freely. Among the best medications for seasickness are those that contain Meclizine, Bonine, Dramamine, and Scopolamine. These can be available in tablet or patch form.

These medications work by preventing nausea and vomiting induced by motion. These medications target the balance system of the inner ear, the vestibular system, in order for passengers to be able to perceive less the rocking motion of a vessel. It is recommended to take the medicine an hour before travel in order for it to work in time. If taken upon the start of travel, some people will find that they are still getting sea sick.

Other forms of seasickness medications include patch and wrist bands. Patches work as effectively as pills. Wrist bands, however, are used for patients who get motion sickness post-chemotherapy treatment and are not meant for sea-sickness or motion-induced sickness during ocean travel.

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