Being out on the boat is designed to be an enjoyable time. However, there is nothing worse than having a day out on the boat cut short due to seasickness. There are a variety of remedies that can be used to combat motion sickness. Some treatments are designed for immediate relief, while other long-term remedies are meant for those who consistently suffer from seasickness.
As you learn and research different remedies for seasickness, you may find some options that work for you and some that don’t; so play around to find what suits you best.
Causes and Symptoms
If you find yourself having seasickness, don’t be ashamed or alarmed. Even experienced boaters suffer from seasickness at some point. Rough water will definitely make boaters more susceptible to feeling green.
Seasickness happens when your balance-sensing system, inner ear, eyes, and sensory nerve are not aligned with the rest. For example, if your eyes are not matching what your inner ear is sensing, then bam! Seasickness. As things are not aligned, your brain gets confused, which then, in response, makes you feel sick.
There is not only one symptom of seasickness but rather a range. Each body will react differently. Depending on water conditions, the body may suffer more severe symptoms. The most common symptoms of seasickness include nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, dry mouth, and cold sweats. None of which sound like an enjoyable time when on the boat.
While you may not expect to get seasick, it can happen out of the blue. However, there are some things you can do beforehand to help prevent getting seasick.
First, get a good night’s sleep the night before heading out. While this should be a rule in general for all adventures to make sure you get the most out of it, this rule is especially true for boating. Not being well-rested aids in your sensory system not being balanced and, therefore, more likely to suffer from seasickness.
Before setting out on the water, ensure that you have a full stomach. A good recommendation is to eat a hearty breakfast, such as fruit, oatmeal, or pancakes. Avoid foods that don’t sit well or that are greasy. Don’t forget to snack throughout the day. Snacks, such as saltine crackers, bananas, apples, or sandwiches, will aid in preventing seasickness while out.
Being hungover is not ideal in any circumstances, but especially when trying to avoid seasickness. Avoid alcoholic beverages in excess the night before and while out on the water. Hydration is key! Drink plenty of water. A Gatorade can also be essential to keep your electrolytes up.
While trying to prevent seasickness will not work entirely for all, following the above tricks will help in aiding some.
As you are out on the water, there are many strategies to use to relieve your seasickness. As you are on the boat, think about your placement and all of the sensory input. Are you near the bow or stern? Is there fresh air? Are you near the motor? Can you see the swells?
When trying to combat seasickness, the best place to be on the boat is where there is a constant flow of fresh air and where you can see the swells. Avoid sitting in a confined space or an area with fumes, such as fuel or exhaust. To help equalize the senses, try staring at the horizon.
Along with your placement on the boat, many homeopathic remedies are available to aid in relieving seasickness. As an example, ginger is known to relieve the symptoms of seasickness. You can have ginger in the form of hard candy, capsules, or tea. However, ginger can thin your blood, so talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you are on blood thinners.
Another natural remedy is the wristbands that you may see others wearing. The pressure point located on the inside of your wrist is known to quell nausea. There is no exact science whether the wristbands work or not. You may find a friend who swears by the wristbands or know someone who tried them, and it failed. You can either do this trick by hand or search the internet for wristbands to wear for the entire journey.
If you are familiar with essential oils, some suggest inhaling a few different essential oils. For example, mixing peppermint, spearmint, and lavender together or inhaling individually has been shown to prevent seasickness.
Even with trying all of the natural methods, there may be days that rough water will make you seasick no matter how much preparation you do to help your body.
Two common medications that you can easily find are Dramamine and Bonine. Both medications are over the counter and can easily be found at most pharmacies. They act as antihistamines. Both can make you drowsy, so look for a non-drowsy version to have on hand. They work best when taken up to an hour before setting off.
A different option is a scopolamine patch. This might be a better option than Dramamine and Bonine if you are heading out on a longer trip. It is a small patch typically worn behind the ear and works for up to three days. While wearing the patch, it is best to avoid alcohol. The most common brand name for the scopolamine patch is Transderm Scop.
As with all new medications, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns or medical conditions. Then, try the remedies before heading out on the boat to ensure your body doesn’t have any adverse reactions.
Feel Confident At Sea
Once you find the remedies and prevention strategies that work best for you, it’s time to get out on the water. If you are in Southern California, stop by and check out Boater U. Our courses will help new and experienced boaters feel confident and comfortable when on or navigating a boat.
Our team has the expertise and skills to educate and advance your boating knowledge. With our guidance, you’ll be a skilled mariner in no time at all!