Updated: May 9
Ah, seasickness - the bane of every scuba diver's existence. That queasy feeling in your stomach as the boat rocks back and forth can really put a damper on your dive day.
Sea sickness, also known as motion sickness, is a common condition that affects many people when they travel by boat or other forms of transportation that involve motion. This condition is characterized by a range of symptoms, including nausea, dizziness, and vomiting, which can make travel extremely uncomfortable for those affected.
One of the primary causes of sea sickness is the conflict between the body's sensory systems. When we are on a boat or other moving vehicle, our inner ear (the vestibular system) senses the motion and acceleration of the vehicle, while our eyes see the stationary surroundings. This sensory mismatch can confuse the brain and lead to a feeling of motion sickness.
Another factor that can contribute to sea sickness is the body's response to changes in the environment. When the body experiences motion or acceleration, it sends signals to the brain to adjust to the new environment. This adjustment process can be disrupted in some people, leading to symptoms of motion sickness.
Individual susceptibility to motion sickness can also play a role. Some people are simply more prone to motion sickness than others, due to differences in their sensitivity to motion, balance, and other factors.
Other factors that can contribute to sea sickness include dehydration, fatigue, anxiety, and stress. Dehydration can cause a range of symptoms that can make sea sickness worse, including dizziness and headaches. Fatigue can also make it more difficult for the body to adjust to the new environment, while anxiety and stress can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of sea sickness.
But fear not we have compiled a list of tried-and-tested tips and tricks to combat seasickness and keep you feeling ship-shape (pun intended) in no time.
Take ginger supplements: Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for nausea, and it's especially effective for combatting seasickness. Pop a few ginger supplements before your dive, or sip on some ginger tea while on the boat.
Use acupressure wristbands: These handy little wristbands apply pressure to a specific point on your wrist that's been known to alleviate nausea. They're inexpensive and can be found at most pharmacies.
Stay hydrated: Dehydration can make seasickness worse, so make sure you're drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Just be sure to avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you even more.
Avoid greasy, heavy foods: As tempting as it may be to indulge in a big breakfast or lunch before your dive, heavy, greasy foods can make seasickness worse. Stick to light, easily-digestible snacks like crackers or fruit, and save the big meal for after your dive.
Take breaks and get fresh air: Sometimes all it takes to combat seasickness is a change of scenery. Take breaks from the cabin and head to the deck for some fresh air and a change of pace.
Focus on the horizon: Just like in the movies, focusing on the horizon can help stabilize your vision and reduce motion sickness. Find a spot on the boat where you can stare out at the steady line in the distance.
Medication: Sometimes, even the most natural remedies just don't cut it. That's when it's time to break out the big guns - over-the-counter or prescription medication that's specifically designed to combat motion sickness. Just make sure to follow the dosage instructions carefully, and don't mix it with alcohol or other medications.
The causes of sea sickness are numerous and varied, ranging from inner ear imbalances to a general lack of sea legs. But fear not! By following our list of handy tips you'll massively reduce the chances of getting that green feeling, or at least reduce the symptoms. If all else fails, just make sure your standing downwind on the boat.