Seasickness is a condition caused by a disparity between the visual stimuli and the motion information from the semi-circular canals of the inner ear. Research has shown that at least one third of the general population are highly susceptible to this condition whereas the remaining two thirds are susceptible enough so as to be affected under conditions which may be categorized as rough. Even though seasickness is not life threatening on its own, it can greatly disrupt if not ruin your boat trip.
Here are some valuable methods and tips on how to combat seasickness and ensure that your trip is not only enjoyable, but also quite memorable. These include but are not limited to the following;
Before you go to sea, start taking medication at least 24 hours in advance. There are several over the counter and prescription medication which one can opt for. The medicine is bound to be more effective if it’s already in your blood stream when you are stepping on the boat, this also helps you avoid the problem of starting on your medication when you are already feeling unwell.
You should also hydrate adequately by drinking lots of water and some mild fruit juice or even a sports drink. Dehydration has been known to bring on symptoms associated with seasickness. It is also advisable to desist from drinking caffeine at least 24 hours before getting on your boat or while on it. This is usually because caffeine may induce some headache which may cause you a lot of discomfort.
You should also not eat greasy, acidic and heavy foods. It is recommended though that you eat a light meal at least an hour before you leave. Make sure your stomach has some food to process. Avoid fruit juices and salads which are acidic. For breakfast, opt for foods such as porridge and cereals and make sure you eat some ginger; either as cookies, biscuits or whichever form that’s appropriate.
It is also advisable to avoid alcohol before getting on the boat and even once you are on the boat. If you have to take some alcohol, it is advisable to get used to the sea by getting what is termed as “sea legs” in boat parlance.
Once in the boat, stay as far away as possible from exhaust and diesel fumes. If you are using a small boat, don’t leave the engine running unnecessarily, this is especially so when the boat is stationary because in most instances the smoke tends to come back into the boat.
Once you are underway, avoid reading or using cameras and binoculars for inordinately long periods of time. Make a point of trying to keep the horizon in sight even though you should not overly concentrate on it or stare at it. It is also advisable not to stare at things which your brain will normally consider as stable and static such as furniture and walls. Watching the distant horizon does give your inner ear and eyes the same sense of motion you are going through. If you cannot watch the horizon, then you are better of closing your eyes since this does cut down on any present conflict of the signals present between your inner ear and eyes.
If you start feeling nauseated at sea and you don’t feel like swallowing water, you can simply take some water and hold it in the mouth, the thin tissues present in your mouth are very effective when it comes to absorbing fluid. This technique allows you to stay hydrated even when you are feeling nauseated.
When on the boat, you can also press on your ear openings using your index fingers. You are bound to feel some increase of pressure inside your ears. This increase in pressure reduces the sensation of movement by slowing down the movement of fluid in the highly sensitive semi-circular canals.
Apart from ginger, you can also use peppermint or basil. This can be in form of tea, smelling or consuming through other means. These herbs are good because they help you ease any feeling of nausea which may be setting in. If you feel like lying down, try and lie down on your side, make sure you are parallel to the side of the boat. Your head should then be pointed towards the bow. This helps manage any discomforting winds and ensures you are comfortable. If possible, stay on deck since you will get lots of fresh air and also get to look at the horizon.
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