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Tips to ease symptoms of seasickness

Published on September 13th, 2023

by Capt. John Miller
Motion sickness is a condition that occurs when what we see doesn’t align with what we feel. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, sweating, and fatigue. It is generally understood that seasickness occurs when the inner ear, eyes, and body send conflicting signals to the brain.

In essence, the labyrinth (inner ear) is responsible for maintaining balance by detecting position and motion. If your body can no longer determine the location of the vertical plane (due to heeling) or the speed and direction that you are moving (bobbing of the boat and/or change of speed and direction during a tack), it sends a conflicting message to the central nervous system.

Agitated by this perceptual incongruity, the brain responds with a cascade of stress-related hormones that can ultimately lead to nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.

What works for one individual may not work for someone else. It may take a period of “trial and error” to find the best solution. 98% of the public will show some symptoms of seasickness so you are not alone. If you do get seasick, take comfort in the fact that recovery is only a matter of time, and the survival rate is 100 percent!

After spending 3 to 4 days onboard a boat, symptoms will most likely become less frequent and may subside completely for the balance of your voyage. Sensible eating, good hydration, and some patience are all that are usually required to get past a bout of seasickness.

For a few tips to help ease the symptoms of seasickness, click here.

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