Bon Voyage to Sea Sickness - Symptoms, Prevention, and Cure

Everyone gets a fair-share of seasickness, especially first timer. The article covers seasickness symptoms, prevention, and cure (coping).

What is seasickness? Can it be treated?

Nothing beats the squeamish feeling on board of a shaky ship beat by the waves, and all you could think of is throwing up. There's a term for it. Seasickness.

Seasickness is often falsely interpreted as fear of sinking ships. Falsely. Seasickness is just an elevated form of simple motion sickness.

Causes of seasickness

Seasickness, or mal de mer as some might refer to it, can be explained as an ear-to-brain balancing error. It is a negative reaction of the human body to unfamiliar motions of the ship.

First the ear registers the unfamiliar motions inside a ship, like shaking walls, tables, and chairs, and then sends it to the brain for processing. These things are supposed to be still, or at least, that's what a normal human brain is used to.

In a nutshell, seasickness is caused by motion conflicts or when things that are not meant to be moving are moving. Even though the eyes do not notice the movement, the inner ears does because of the waves.

Needless to say the ship will remain shaking, and all information sent to your brain will seem invalid and wrong.

Symptoms of seasickness

When these invalid details reach the brain, the brain starts sending out reactions to reject it, just like when your body tries to fight off a disease. That includes nausea, stress, confusion, lethargy, or even drowsiness. Thenceforth seasickness.

Normally a person suffering from seasickness would start to feel nauseous with slight cold sweating. The patient's face will get paler, sometimes even green, and start losing traction. A seasick patient then begins walking in crisscross patterns and starts holding onto walls, as if they will fall.

Depending on the patient, seasickness can get even worse. It includes vomiting, heavy sweating, panicking, and phobias even.

Your brain copes with seasickness

Although it may take sometime for first time voyagers, the brain will eventually learn to cope with seasickness. It will stop complaining about invalid sea motions, and stop sending out reflex actions.

Later you learn what they call, "sea legs." As the side effect when you set foot on land again, you get instead, "land sickness." It will seem just another seasickness and it will pass.

Who gets seasick?

Everyone gets a fair-share of seasickness, especially when it is their first time on a boat. Usually it will pass, but sometimes it doesn't. After all it depends on a lot of things, like how a person copes.

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Posted on Jul 24, 2010