What is Sea Sickness?
Sea Sickness is a form of motion sickness that many people experience when traveling on a boat or ship. Telltale signs of Sea Sickness usually start with a feeling of nausea, cold sweats or sweating, fatigue and loss of color.
Some travelers may even be incapacitated by seasickness from setting foot on a boat in dry dock. Although Sea Sickness is not a serious condition, it can lead to complications such as excessive vomiting, dehydration and low blood pressure.
Diagnosing Sea Sickness
The common symptoms and signs of Sea Sickness include:
- Cold sweats or sweating
- Pallor (loss of color)
- Malaise (general feeling of discomfort)
What Causes Sea Sickness?
Sea Sickness occurs when the central nervous system receives confusing messages from the inner, ear, eyes and other areas of the body. Sea Sickness relates to the body's sense of balance and equilibrium, or spatial orientation.
The inner ear monitors and controls balance and motion while the eyes observe the directions and where the body is in space. The skin and muscle and joint sensory receptors are able to sense which parts of the body are moving and where they are in relation to each other.
Motion sickness occurs when the parts of the inner ear that help control balance (including the semicircular canals) are stimulated too much, as can occur when motion is excessive. It can also occur when the brain receives contradictory information from its motion sensors—the eyes, the semicircular canals, and the muscle sensors (nerve endings in muscles and joints that provide information about body position).
Help for Sea Sickness
There are a number of treatment options that can help to reduce the symptoms of Sea Sickness. Over-the-counter medications such as Dramamine may be used for mild symptoms. Sucking on ginger capsules, drinking ginger ale, eating gingersnap cookies or peppermints can also be quite effective.
Wearing an acupressure wrist band may also prevent nausea because of the pressure to a certain point of your wrist. If symptoms are more severe, your doctor may prescribe scopolamine (transdermal patches and tablets) to control Sea Sickness. Unfortunately, this medication does have some harsh side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, confusion and short term problems associated with loss of memory.
Natural and holistic treatments such as herbal and homeopathic remedies have been used for centuries to prevent all forms of motion sickness. Herbs such as Zingiber officinalis (Ginger) and Mentha piperita (Mint) provide digestive comfort. Homeopathic ingredients such as Kalium phosphate, Cocculus and Pulsatilla vulgaris act as a restorative and nerve tonic and helps to promote harmony in the digestive system while traveling.
More Information on Sea Sickness
Tips to prevent Sea Sickness
- Eat light meals, and avoid spicy and greasy foods
- Avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol
- Stand on the deck and get fresh air
- Drink plenty of water to remain hydrated
- Sip on ginger ale or ginger tea to relieve nausea
- Keep one finger over your ear as this will stop the balancing liquid near your ears from moving around
- If you suffer from tinnitus, a condition that affects the inner ear, take added precautions
- Avoid staying in the cabin and enclosed spaces
- Lie on your back on a deck chair with your eyes closed
- Practice taking deep breaths
- Keep your mind occupied by training your brain to think of other things
- Allow your eyes to gaze at the horizon but avoid locking onto it
- Keep warm and comfortable preventative measures can be taken to control Sea Sickness