Caution: I am not a health-care professional, so “caveat emptor” applies.
Seasickness is all in the head. Actually it's in the ears. There is a complex
of three fluid-filled canals in each ear, that communicate with the brain and
eyes to help us maintain our balance. There is sometimes so much, or such rapid movement that the brain gets confused and nausea results. Motion sickness occurs when the body is subjected to accelerations of movement in different directions or under conditions where visual contact with the actual outside horizon is lost
. The balance center of the inner ear then sends information to the brain that conflicts with the visual clues of apparently standing still in the interior cabin
of a ship or airplane.
There may be two differing modalities causing seasickness: acceleration & period. Some of us are more affected by smaller rapid (choppy) motions, and some by larger slower (swell) motions. Your particular sensitivity should play no small part in selecting a vessel suitable for you to cruise
Like any other organ, however, with time, the brain gets used to the complex,
multiple messages and gets used to the increased number of signals and the
seasickness goes away. This, of course, varies from person to person and can
take from days to weeks to get better.
There are three seasickness triggers guaranteed to cause uncomfortable symptoms. These triggers should be avoided whenever possible during the initial boarding and first few hours at sea:-
1.Going below deck for extended time periods. Not easy if the weather
is poor and impossible on some boats. At least try to find a window or porthole and keep your eyes gazing at but not fixed on the horizon.
2. Looking through binoculars for anything longer than a glance.
3. Reading a book, looking at a compass
, doing detailed work
or staring at one point. Try to keep your peripheral vision out on the horizon and not staring at objects your brain will interpret as stable.
Prevention is best accomplished by seeking areas of lesser movement in an interior
location of a larger boat
, or by facing forward and looking outside the boat
. Several medications are now available both by prescription and over the counter that may prevent or limit the symptoms of motion sickness. If medications are necessary, they are best taken at least one hour before embarking. The over the counter medications Dramamine or Bonine can be very effective for short trips or when symptoms occur intermittently. For longer trips, a prescription medication called Transderm-Scop comes in the form of a patch can be worn behind the ear for up to three days at a time. Side-effects of these medications usually consist of sedation and dry mouth and they should not be taken by people who have glaucoma or urinary obstruction. Recent studies have shown that Ginger root may be as effective as the other drug treatments but is associated with fewer side effects.
Some further reading: