Seasickness is so sneaky. You are all happy and excited about your adventurous boating or kayaking trip but immediately the vessel touches the open water, you start vomiting and feeling nauseated. You start cursing and wishing you were lying under your favorite shade tree back home, hiking in the woods, or just soaking in a hot tub instead.
Sure, there is nothing fun about losing your breakfast over the side of your kayak or spending your entire trip in the sick bay, but trust us, this thing affects every watersports lover in one way or another. Those who are lucky will only have mild headaches until they have gotten used to the life on the water but others might even have to call off the trip.
Good news? Seasickness prevention can be done easily. Not only that; you can actually conquer it once and for all.
What Causes Seasickness?
Seasickness is caused by a mismatch of the information sent to your brain from the eyes, sensory nerves, and inner ear. When the watercraft moves, this motion causes stress on the part of the brain responsible for maintaining body balance.
For instance, when you are boating or kayaking, your equipment is stored within an eye’s range. Now, your brain knows that these things should be stationary but in the real sense, they are moving with the vessel and the water.
Your eyes can’t see the movement but your inner ear can sense it. Your eyes tell the brain that there is no motion but the inner ear tells it there is. This stresses and confuses your brain, which results to dizziness and nausea.
This feeling often disappears when your brain finally gets used to the new environment. It can be after a few hours or days but to some people, seasickness can last the entire trip.
3 Easy Ways To Stop Seasickness
The most effective way to prevent seasickness is to be well prepared before hitting the water. You can certainly take medications to alleviate the symptoms but if you want to beat this monster for good, here are a few tips.
1. Prepare Adequately
Gulp down three to four glasses of water before you leave. Refill your water bottles and stash some energy drinks in the marine cooler.
Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeinated drinks, as these might worsen dehydration, which is known to aggravate dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms of seasickness.
Pack Some Snacks
Most people prefer eating moderate meals that are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat such as grains and dried fruits. Have a few packs of these in your duffel bag and throw in a couple packets of crackers and dry toasts to snack during the trip.
If you have been seasick before, then chances are good you know what foods you are comfortable with and which to stay away from. Trust your gut because whatever you bring with you is what will sustain you the entire trip. Good meals could mean the difference between an enjoyable trip and a miserable one.
This is perhaps the oldest seasickness prevention method. Whether fresh from your kitchen garden or in candy form, ginger stimulates production of saliva, which helps to settle your stomach.
Take the ginger about two hours before grabbing your kayak paddle or boat oar and hitting the waters. If you are taking a long trip, then you may want to start consuming ginger two or three days before. If you are on medication, however, you should always clear with your doctor before eating ginger.
Look For Herbal Remedies
In addition to ginger, lavender, fennel, and peppermint have been used as a sea sickness remedy. Well, researchers may have spent less time in these three than in ginger but any pleasant taste or scent can be of great help when it comes to distracting you from seasickness. Try mixing these plants with your cup of tea or sucking a candy made from any of them before you leave.
Answer The Call Of Nature
Depending on the vessel you are using, you may not have access to a bathroom so do yourself a favor and finish your business prior to your launch. If you are using a ship with modern facilities, then you might be lucky, but even then, sometimes the facilities are evil smelling and cramped so they might not be the best place to be when experiencing motion sickness.
If you are in a kayak, beginner kayak or canoe, the situation could be even worse because you have to improvise a way to answer the call of nature, and if you are a first timer, this could make you a little nervous. Now, this plus seasickness could be a total disaster. So bathroom then boarding, not boarding then bathroom!
Pack Motion Sickness Bags
Another sea sickness remedy is packing a few sick bags. If your seasickness worsens, you will usually feel much better after vomiting. Bring motion sickness bags so that you have a quicker and easier way to answer the call.
Have them at arm’s reach. If you have a small travel backpack that is going to stay with your thought the trip or a fanny pack, put your sick bags there for easier access. Just make sure not to hold the sick bag near your mouth the whole time, as this will give you an urge to throw up. Keep it easily accessible but not in front of you.
2. While On The Trip
Close Your Eyes Or Watch The Horizon
As we stated earlier, seasickness is caused by conflicting signals between your brain, inner ear, and the eyes. You can decide to close your eyes so that you don’t see the surroundings. If that doesn’t work, try watching the distance horizon to get a steadier view.
Get Fresh Air
If you are in a boat, try to stay above the deck whenever you can. Avoid unpleasant smells and stuffy enclosed spaces. It would be wise to choose a spot away from wind just in case you feel the urge to vomit.
Get Yourself Distracted
Find something to do before you start experiencing seasickness and stick to it. Try listening to music, play your guitar, ask the captain of you can go behind the boat’s steering wheel for some time; just anything to keep you distracted. If you are in a kayak or other smaller craft, you can distract yourself by watching the birds or other kayakers.
Do not read a book or play with your tablet. Looking at a nearby point is a terrible idea when in motion. Also, stay away from people who are already experiencing seasickness. The smell or sight of these individuals may get you sick too or worsen your condition.
If you have tried all the above methods and nothing seems work, then just lie on your back parallel to the sides of the watercraft. This will reduce the sensation of movement and increase the flow of blood to your head, which will alleviate light-headedness and dizziness.
Keep your peepers closed unless you can see the horizon. You can also sleep in a bunk but wedge some objects like thick life jackets under the mattress such that the mattress forms a V shape with the wall. Lying in the V shape will get you pinned against the wall so that you have a restricted movement.
3. Take Medication
Choose The Right Medication
Seasickness can be stopped with over the counter medications. When deciding on the best medicine for this condition, be keen on the side effects. If you suspect that you may vomit, consider non-oral drugs. Some drugs come as intranasal spray or skin patches and could be your best bet if you fear spewing.
Take The Medication Right
Your medication is more likely to work if it is already in the blood stream before you hit the water. Plus you will avoid the stress of having to swallow something unpleasant when you already feel sick.
Take your initial dose before you leave as instructed on the package or directed by your doctor. For a long trip, take regular doses but make sure not exceed the specified daily limit, as this could cause a serious medical problem.
Be Aware Of Side Effects
Some people experience blurred vision, dizziness, or drowsiness after taking some medications. If you are planning to help operate some machinery or steering the boat take the drug a day before to see if the side effects are going to interfere with your operation. Seek medical attention if you experience serious allergic reaction.
Globo Surf Overview
Seasickness can be an annoying condition as it robs you of the enjoyment of being on water. Though it has similar symptoms to scuba divers’ vertigo, seasickness is much easier to prevent and treat. We have listed for you three foolproof seasickness prevention methods to conquer this problem once and for all. But as we always say, if symptoms persist, seek medical advice.
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