Whether on board a pleasure boat, cruise ship, airplane or in the car, motion sickness can be a paralyzing problem and can happen to anyone under the right (or wrong) conditions. Here are some tips on how to keep the problem from spoiling your time on the water.
- Have a variety of treatments aboard, and make sure that anyone with a propensity to seasickness uses something before the weather gets rough:
- The over-the-counter medication meclizine (Bonine, Antivert, Dramamine) can be a very effective preventive measure for short trips or for mild cases of motion sickness.
- Another ‘cure’ on the market is called Motion Ease. It’s an emollient oil that you rub right behind both ears. It’s not a drug and many people swear by its effectiveness.
- The wristbands (with a button that applies accupressure at a point between tendons on the wrist) work well for many people, offering a drug-free solution. We often hear that a combination of the wristbands and Motion Ease gives 100% relief.
- Watch your consumption of foods, drinks, and alcohol before and during travel. Avoid excessive alcohol and foods or liquids that make you feel unusually full. Heavy, spicy, or fat-rich foods may worsen motion sickness in some people.
- Drink Coke or Pepsi. These two drinks help reduce the chances of getting sick because they contain phosphoric acid, which is an ingredient in Emetrol, a drug to control vomiting. Eat Saltine crackers. They absorb the excess acidity very well. If the indigestion is really bad, take an antacid.
- Do not sit facing backwards from your direction of travel.
- Instead of focusing on anything in your immediate vicinity, it can sometimes help to keep your gaze fixed on the horizon or on a fixed point. The worst thing is to focus on a near object that is moving around in relation to the background like making an intricate repair below or reading a book. When you stay on deck you can see the horizon and it greatly helps maintain your equilibrium and orientation. Also, since the smell of strong foods and diesel fuel can aggravate seasickness, fresh air helps.
- Keep busy. If you sit around worrying that you might get seasick, it’s apt to happen. If you’re busy on deck steering, or trimming and changing sails, you are less apt to feel bad. Once you do feel sick, however, activity tends to make it worse. In that case, you’ll feel much better if you tickle your throat over the side and just get rid of it.