Seasickness is a problem that is familiar to everyone. Interparus decided to give some simple advice on how to deal with this scourge!
Why do people get seasick?
The answer is simple: incorrect work of some parts of the brain. The brain is a very clever and complex thing. Unfortunately, his work often fails. Seasickness as a result of such a failure. The brain incorrectly processes information about balance and your location in space.
Your inner ear is a network of fluid-filled channels that are sensitive to gravity and movement. The inner ear is part of the vestibular system. Usually, the information sent from here to the brain corresponds to signals coming from other senses, such as vision.
On the boat, everything stops converging: according to our eyes, we are stationary relative to our immediate surroundings, but the vestibular apparatus registers constant movement. Due to the mismatch of signals, the brain thinks that it has been…poisoned! Therefore, a natural reaction to imaginary "intoxication" and "poisoning" will be nausea, vomiting and dizziness.
Why does the brain believe that the body is poisoned? Many toxins upset the balance, so the logical evolutionary response is to vomit when this system is damaged.
Medicines for motion sickness
There are many different types of motion sickness pills on the market, all of which work in slightly different ways.
You may need to try several products before you find the one that's right for you. The two most common drugs are cinnarizine (Stugeron) and hyoscine (Quels). If you can't take either of these, talk to your healthcare provider about alternative options. In any case, carefully read the instructions for use. If you have any doubts, consult a doctor!
This is an antihistamine drug under the trade name Stugeron, which acts on the connection between the vestibular apparatus and other sense organs involved in maintaining balance. Like the antihistamines you take for a fever, it can cause mild drowsiness, but it's well tolerated by most people and is available without a prescription.
Hyoscine hydrobromide / Scopolamine
Available in the form of tablets (Quels) and patches (Scopoderm). Acts on the part of the brain that controls the gag reflex. It works a little faster than cinnarizine and is the best option if "trouble" caught you off guard.
Many people use patches that work for three days and do not cause vomiting. One common side effect is dry mouth, but it's a good reminder to drink. Like cinnarizine, they are also available without a prescription.
Another antihistamine, promethazine is sold as a motion sickness remedy under the trade name Avomin.
This is one of the components of the drug group "night help". We don't know if our language has an equivalent for this term, but it's not hard to guess that it will make you sleepy.
For this reason, people rarely take it for a long time, but it is very effective. Of course, if you are ready to put up with drowsiness. One or two doses in the first 24 hours are usually sufficient. In the EU and the USA, it is dispensed with the permission of a pharmacist or with a prescription.
Another antiemetic drug, prochlorperazine, is often used to treat migraine nausea and dizziness. It is not commonly used for motion sickness, as drowsiness is one of its main side effects, but because it is absorbed through the gums, it may be a good option for those who cannot take other medications.
It is worth asking the pharmacist for a package to have it ready if you know you are suffering from severe motion sickness. In the EU and the US, it is available by prescription only.
How and when to take medication
How you take your medications is just as important. As with most things on board (even with equipment), prevention is better than cure.
When using any medication for motion sickness, the key is to take it as soon as possible, not later. In some circumstances, taking a pill on the eve of sailing can help, as the body has time to rebuild. But first, check the instructions. Resist the temptation to mix and match medications without your doctor's permission.
Motion sickness control strategies
Prevention and treatment of seasickness is taking care of your body. Try to stick to your regular daily routine: eat, drink and go to the toilet like at home, put on an extra layer of clothing when necessary, and lie down to rest when possible.
Anxiety, fatigue, cold or hunger hasten the onset of seasickness. If you feel motion sickness approaching, take preventive measures in advance: do not torture yourself in the galley. Just so you don't have to spend a few days in a latrine.
Ginger has long been known for its properties. It will help calm the stomach. Carry a pack of crystallized ginger with you, or make a fresh ginger root tea for maximum benefits.
Dehydration is the worst enemy
The biggest risk is dehydration. Have a rehydration pill handy just in case. Even if it doesn’t rock you, then a friend may need help.
If a crew member continues to vomit for more than 24 hours, you should carefully monitor how much fluid they consume. Make sure they keep drinking, even if they start vomiting again soon after.
If you want to protect the patient, the cabin and bed linen, then airtight bags will come to your aid. Sealed bags for patients are a real salvation for the victim, chained to the bed.
If you will be the skipper, you should conduct explanatory conversations and safety briefings before going to sea. If the “trouble” caught the crew suddenly, then all conditions should be provided for seasickness to pass as quickly as possible.
Don't forget to talk to the crew. Find encouraging words of support, reassure the person that this will all pass. And with your help, even faster than it could be. If the person is feeling better, cheer up, offer to take the wheel for a while, or make him a hot drink. All means to raise morale are good.
The most important thing you can do as a skipper to prevent crew sickness is to avoid bad weather. Next, give people the opportunity to test their skills on short training swims before embarking on a major transition.
Don't forget to rate the content! Other interesting articles can be found in the "News" section or on the links below.
News and articles
Why is boat length measured in feet? You can often hear that someone owns a yacht that is 30 feet long. But why not just say that the size of my yacht is 9.14 meters? This is much clearer. Why is it always feet that are used to indicate the length of boats, and not the meters familiar to us?Read more…
As is often the case in maritime folklore, the reputation of the Bay of Biscay was affected by the things that actually happened there. Ships with rectangular sails, unable to sail upwind, were captured by the prevailing westerly winds and washed ashore - unable to get out of this trap ...Read more…