The wind, the sunshine…and the waves. To many, this sounds like the perfect way to spend the weekend. But to those who suffer from seasickness, it’s less than ideal. Unfortunately, seasickness, or motion sickness, prevents people from enjoying their time out on the water. They either get ill or decide to avoid the water altogether.
It doesn’t have to be that way! There are several ways to prevent and treat seasickness so you don’t have to stay onshore. Plan ahead and you can have a safe and fun boating experience, too.
First, learn the ways to prevent seasickness. Get plenty of sleep, avoid alcohol, and eat before you go. While there is a lot of speculation about what to eat, there’s no medical evidence to show that certain foods cause or prevent seasickness. The most important thing is that you eat well and don’t head out to sea on an empty stomach.
Second, know your limits. Seasickness can be harsher on some boaters than others, so if you’re extra sensitive, avoid reading or facing backwards on the boat.
Third, pack remedies. Ginger is an excellent natural remedy. Drinking ginger ale can calm your stomach, or find ginger chews at a grocery store and pop one in your mouth if you start to feel queasy. There are also plenty of over-the-counter medicines like Benadryl or Pepto-Bismol that can ease symptoms. Dramamine® is a known medication that is commonly used for seasickness and is available in both a patch that can placed behind your ear, chewable tablet, or taken orally. Dramamine is also available for kids. Although Dramamine is a favorite among our own Sea Tow members, some have also tried acupressure wristbands with success. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you have questions about what may work best for you.
Fourth, when you show signs of seasickness, don’t ignore them! Forget about feeling embarrassed around your friends or family. It’s much better to deal with your seasickness right away than to wait for it to pass. And chances are you’re not the only one around to suffer from seasickness. It affects people of all ages and genders.
Here are a few common treatments once you start to feel seasickness kick in:
- Look out at the horizon, not at things on the boat or close by.
- Chew on ginger, peppermint or take an over-the-counter remedy.
- Close your eyes.
- “Ride the waves” – this simply means sitting upright and using your trunk and neck muscles to keep your upper body and head balanced over your hips. It takes a little time to master, but then you’ll feel more balanced and secure.
Don’t let motion sickness keep you from having fun but don’t ignore the signs either. To get the most out of your boating experience, acknowledge the signs and plan ahead.
If you have a home remedy or something that has really worked for you, please share it in the comments below.