Sea Sickness

Nausea comes from the ancient Greek word "naus" meaning "ship".

Symptoms:

  1. stomach ache
  2. become pale, start to sweat
  3. become light-headed
  4. sometimes depression
  5. nausea
  6. Other symptoms:
  7. hyperventilation
  8. panic, confusion
  9. excessive yawning
  10. headache
  11. lethargy

Cause:

Sea sickness is caused by a mismatch of the information from your eyes and ears. Foward motion combined with up and down motion, or side to side motion causes this illness. Your inner ear regulates balance, and when you get contradictory signals, your brain get disoriented, causing nausea.

According to Health Canada, sea sickness (motion sickness) is greatest between the ages of 3 and 12. It affects 58% of children. Women are more susceptible than men, and the problem declines with age. Boats cause the worst problems, followed by planes, cars, and trains.

Remedies:

  1. Get off the boat (just kidding).
  2. Sit in the part of the boat with least motion.
  3. Avoid a heavy meal before you leave and avoid dairy products.
  4. Fresh air helps.
  5. Focus your attention on a fixed point on the horizon to put your eyes and balance back in synch.
  6. Drive the boat (the boat operator rarely get sea sick).
  7. Take drugs before you get sick (they are not effective if taken after you feel sick).
  8.  - dimenhydrinate (Gravol) comes in various strength for young children to adults.
  9.  - declizine (Bonamine) should not be used by children under 12.
  10.  - scopolamine patches (by doctor's prescription only) can be effective for people who get very seasick.

Although ginger root is often mentioned as a folk remedy, a controlled study found no anti-seasickness effect.

Pressure bands are sold that you wear around each wrist. The plastic button is supposed to press against an acupuncture point in your wrist to relieve motion sickness and other forms of nausea. Two scientific studies found an example of thse bands had no effect on motion sickness. Another study found that vigorous manipulation of the acupuncture point was required to achieve any benefit.

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