Preventing seasickness: Easy Ways to Keep From Getting Seasick
Easy Ways to Keep From Getting Seasick
Your dream cruise can become a nightmare if the ship’s motion causes you to become seasick. Motion sickness brings with it nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches, and cold sweats. While seasickness can be mild, for some people it can be completely incapacitating.
“Seasickness is the result of a complex physiological reaction to motion,” says John Bradberry, MD, medical director for Carnival Cruise Lines. “It is a mismatch of information sent to the brain from the eyes, inner ear, and sensory nerves, such as in the feet.”
Think of it this way: When you are inside a cabin on a ship, your eyes do not see movement, but the inner ear senses it. Your eyes are telling your brain there is no movement, while the inner ear is telling the brain there is. The result in some people is seasickness.
You can get motion sickness from traveling in a car, airplane, train, or even in an amusement park ride. “People who are prone to one form of motion sickness tend to be more susceptible to other forms of it,” Bradberry says.
Strategies to Prevent Motion Sickness
Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of becoming seasick:
- Be well rested before setting sail. Missing sleep and feeling exhausted make you more susceptible to factors that can cause motion sickness. Wind down before your trip.
Take antiemetic drugs. A variety of medications are available to help prevent or treat motion sickness. Medicines for nausea are called antiemetic drugs. They include antihistamines such as Bonine and Dramamine — available over the counter — and scopolamine drugs, which come in pill or patch form and require a prescription. “Most of the medications work by counteracting the effect of chemicals released by the brain during seasickness,” Bradberry says.
Talk to you doctor about which medications are best for you, as you may be limited by other medications you are taking. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness and dry mouth and eyes. Because antihistamines block messages to the part of the brain that controls nausea and vomiting, taking a medication such as Dramamine works best if you take it before you get motion sickness. So for best results, take the pill before you board the ship, if you’re going on a short trip.
- Get fresh air. If you are feeling seasick, it is often helpful to go out on an open deck or balcony and look toward the horizon. Doing so helps your eyes “see” the motion, which will then send signals to the brain more in alignment with what the inner ear is “telling” the brain, Bradberry says. Fresh air, especially wind blowing in your face, tends to help. It also helps to focus on something other than the boat’s motion, so try to keep active while aboard the ship.
- Request a cabin mid ship and near the water line. “The side-to-side sway and the up and down ‘seesaw’ pitch motion of the ship is minimized in the middle of the boat,” Bradberry says. You might also want to request a room with a window or portal so that you can easily look out on the horizon.
- Have a bite. The best foods are light and bland, such as saltine crackers, plain bread, or pretzels. Having some food in your stomach is better than having an empty stomach, but be careful not to eat too much. Also, you might want to sip some ginger ale: Ginger is a well-known natural remedy for motion sickness. Peppermint also may have calming effects on the stomach. Many people find that eating crackers along with drinking water or soda helps.
- Wear an acupressure wristband. These wristbands apply pressure to a point on the wrist, generally where you wear a watch. Many people find the pressure helps them avoid nausea, one of the symptoms of motion sickness. You can find acupressure wristbands in some pharmacies, or order them from online stores such as Amazon.
- Avoid stimuli that can trigger nausea. “Nausea is a hallmark of seasickness. Any stimulus that triggers nausea can aggravate seasickness symptoms,” Bradberry says. Triggers include eating greasy foods, spicy foods, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and juices, and large meals. Avoiding alcohol helps because, as a diuretic, alcohol speeds up dehydration and can lower your body’s resistance to motion sickness, especially if you are prone to it. Steer clear of any noxious odors and other people on the boat who are vomiting from motion sickness.
- Choose your itinerary carefully. If you know that you get motion sickness, you should probably only sail on larger ships and select itineraries that go through calmer bodies of water. The Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, for example, tend to be calmer than most portions of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, newer ships are built with the latest stabilization systems, which help reduce the motion you feel.
Related: Natural Ways to Relieve Nausea
Don’t let seasickness ruin a floating holiday. Planning ahead and being prepared with a variety of remedies should keep you feeling ship-shape.
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What causes motion sickness—and how can you prevent it?
For some travelers, a catamaran sail off Oahu, Hawaii, or a camel ride through the desert in Morocco isn’t an enviable vacation experience. It’s an encounter with nausea, dizziness, and cold sweats.
Motion sickness like this can happen to almost anyone, including children and dogs. Studies suggest that more than half of all people who ride in automobiles experience carsickness. Recent surveys of members of the Indian Navy, Icelandic fishermen, and South Carolina marine biologists indicate that up to 80 percent of individuals who work on boats get seasick sometimes.
“We’re even seeing cybersickness now, with people looking at their phones when riding in the car or wearing glasses for a 3D movie,” says Andrea Bubka, a professor of psychology at Saint Peter’s University in New Jersey, who has extensively studied motion sickness.
Here’s why motion sickness happens and what travelers can do to prevent it.
What causes it
Scientists aren’t sure why some people feel nauseated the second they step on a boat, while others can blithely read long novels while riding in the backseat of a car. But they have a few theories.
Many scholars believe motion sickness is caused by sensory conflict, a discrepancy between what people see and what their bodies are experiencing. “Human beings did not evolve to travel in space shuttles and use virtual-reality video games,” says Marcello Cherchi, a neurologist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
Sensory conflict happens when your body feels the heaving of an ocean ferry or the jolting motion of a bus winding through the mountains and your eyes, ears, and other senses can’t catch up. This results in symptoms like a dry mouth, dizziness, upset stomach, or a pounding headache.
However, other scientists believe that people get motion sick because they don’t instinctively change how they sit, stand, or walk in a moving mode of transport. That disconnect causes you to feel ill.
Patricia Cowings (standing), a U.S. psychophysiologist who has extensively studied motion sickness, works with a test subject.
Photograph by HUM Images, Universal Images Group/Getty Images
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One of the biggest proponents of this “postural stability theory” is Tom Stoffregen, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. “On a boat or plane, you have to learn to move differently—like sailors who get their ‘sea legs’ after a few days,” he says. “The key is physical control of your body, and some individuals adapt more quickly than others.”
Genetics might play a part, too. A 2015 study of 480,000 customers of DNA-testing company 23andme identified 413 genetic markers—many related to balance or eye, ear, and cranial development—that could make an individual predisposed to motion sickness.
Preventing motion sickness
The easiest way to combat motion sickness is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Hydrate and keep fresh air flowing while traveling, either by opening a window in the car, turning on the air vent above you on the plane, or heading to the deck on a cruise ship.
“And be careful what you eat when you travel,” says Bubka. Anything that upsets your stomach on dry land—eating too much (or too little), drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or caffeine—could be amplified by motion.
“Do everything you can to be sure your view isn’t obstructed,” says Natascha Tuznik, a doctor who specializes in travel medicine at the University of California Davis. “Look at the horizon if you’re out to sea and sit in the front seat of the car where you can see the road and what’s coming.” Closely watching what’s coming helps your eyes and inner ears sync more quickly with other bodily functions.
Avoiding triggers and anti-nausea training
Some research suggests that doing physical or mental exercises could help humans train themselves to be less motion sick. The Puma Method, developed by a flight surgeon to serve airsick pilots, uses yoga-like stretches and angular movements to build up anti-nausea conditioning. A 2020 study at England’s University of Warwick found that, after doing 15-minute visuospatial training exercises (finding hidden objects in puzzles, folding paper), many subjects didn’t get sick when taken for car rides.
Commuters walk through a New York City subway station in 2017. Any form of transport—from trains to planes to boats—can induce motion sickness in humans.
Photograph by John Taggart, Redux
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“The advantage is that these approaches don’t require medication,” says Cherchi. “The disadvantage is that they can entail considerable discomfort, at least initially.”
People prone to motion sickness can also practice “trigger avoidance,” steering clear of activities that make them bilious. If long bus rides make you turn green, rent a car instead, then sit up front or drive yourself. Those prone to seasickness should take flat-water river cruises or choose larger oceangoing ships with smoother rides.
Medication—or gadgets—might help
Another way to combat travel-related nausea? Use an over-the-counter motion sickness drug (like Dramamine) or a doctor-prescribed Scopolamine patch (usually worn behind the ear). Both are anticholinergics, which block and inhibit the central nervous system to create a calming effect on the muscles in the stomach and bowels.
However, these medicines only work if used a short time before you set sail or board that flight. Such drugs can also make you groggy, and many people have health conditions that preclude their use. Stoffregen advises travelers who don’t want to take pills to try ginger chews or gingersnaps instead. “There’s well-documented evidence that a little bit of ginger can significantly reduce nausea,” he says.
Multiple gadgets promise to help with motion sickness. Pressure-point wristbands, which rely on acupressure principles, come in models from inexpensive and basic to high-tech and high-priced. Wacky-looking anti-nausea glasses also came to market about two years ago, sporting liquid-filled frames and four round, glass-free lenses. The idea is that the liquid in the specs shifts as you move, creating an artificial horizon.
While many users report feeling better when using these devices on planes, trains, and automobiles, studies have yet to support their efficacy. “Still, if there’s a placebo effect, and you don’t get sick, then I don’t care about the science,” says Stoffregen. “It’s money well spent.”
Jennifer Barger is a senior travel editor at National Geographic. Follow her on Instagram.
⚓ All About Seasickness
Differences in resistance to seasickness depend on ship size, sea conditions and sailing experience. Thus, if the provocative movement is active for a long time (for example, on board a ship during a storm), then in most people the degree of manifestations of motion sickness gradually decreases as they adapt to the rocking. The dynamics of this adaptation, as well as other characteristics of motion sickness, has individual differences, however, as a rule, noticeable adaptation occurs on the second or third day of swimming, and by the fourth, all symptoms usually completely disappear. Seasickness is rare among professional sailors. This is due to strict professional selection and training of the vestibular apparatus during training and subsequent work. But sometimes a person cannot adapt to rolling on a ship, even for a long sea service. The famous English naval commander Admiral Nelson spent many years at sea and, nevertheless, every time during a storm he suffered greatly from this disease. Approximately 5% of people do not adapt to rolling at sea at all, and they are subject to motion sickness throughout their lives. Persons with innate stability adapt more quickly to provoking accelerations.
Among other factors influencing the resistance to seasickness, personality traits (extroverts are more resistant than introverts), motivation, emotionality and activity of the central nervous system, as well as fear and anxiety are of great importance.
How can the unpleasant symptoms associated with seasickness be alleviated or prevented? First of all, it is necessary to limit head movements to a minimum, which affect the development of motion sickness, this is well known. You can limit the movement of your head arbitrarily, but it is better if it rests on an appropriate support – a headrest, roller, etc. It should be remembered that on board a ship experiencing motion, seasickness will be less pronounced with acceleration acting along the longitudinal axis of the head than along its anteroposterior axis.
It may be useful during swimming to reduce visual-vestibular mismatch. For example, while on a ship, at the first signs of motion sickness, it is advisable to sit with your eyes closed or fix your gaze, as noted above, on the horizon line or visible land.
A tried-and-tested remedy for nausea is a lemon, a slice of which should be put into the mouth as soon as possible at the first sign of seasickness. Less effective but still helpful are menthol caramel, chewing gum, spices, or anything acidic. It is good if the cabin smells of mint or pine needles (preferably the use of flavors).
Breakfast (lunch, dinner) before going to sea should be light, because both a full stomach and an empty stomach are an additional burden on the body. From food on the road, choose low-fat and hot food. Soda water, cake or cake with a lot of cream are not for you. It is useful to wipe the neck and temples with a damp towel. Hand massage will also help: put one hand on your knee, palm up. Gently massage with the thumb of the other hand under the wrist, and then with the index and thumb, the middle of the palm.
If a person experiences seasickness precisely in the expanses of water, then during pitching, proper breathing helps: the deck drops – inhale, rises – exhale.
In the long term, various types of vestibular training can be the most effective means of preventing seasickness: special physical and gymnastic exercises, volleyball, swimming, acrobatic trampolining, exercises on sports equipment: the Rhine wheel, triplex, etc. For passive – a swivel chair , swing, etc. With combined methods, active and passive exercises are combined. Such training not only contributes to the suppression of unpleasant vestibular reactions, but also improves orientation in space.
Active vestibular training is carried out daily in the morning before meals (eyes should be open when performing). All head movements are performed at a fast pace (approximately 120 per minute) for one minute, and after 30 seconds of movement, a pause of 5 seconds should follow. The whole set of exercises takes 8 minutes.
Starting from the first exercise, the complex is repeated and, if you feel well, perform for another eight minutes. At the end of the workout, you need to rest for two to three minutes.
The duration of the first classes is two minutes, and it is advisable to carry out the exercises while sitting. Subsequently, with each lesson, the training time should be increased by one to two minutes and, starting from the third to fifth lesson, movements should be performed in a standing position.
During training, coordination disorders (up to a fall) are possible, for the prevention of which it is necessary to provide insurance to the trainee. If some people have pronounced vestibulo-vegetative reactions (severe pallor, sweating, nausea, etc.), the session must be stopped.
In recent years, for the prevention of seasickness, methods of psychoprophylaxis and psychotherapy, autogenic training with training in self-control of some autonomic reactions, using biofeedback, which allows you to control, prevent or weaken the manifestations of motion sickness, have begun to be used.
A large role in the prevention and relief of seasickness is given to pharmacological agents, the number of which is currently significant.
However, it should be remembered that almost all drugs used as a means of preventing and relieving motion sickness have their own indications and contraindications. Therefore, before taking this or that drug with you on a trip, you must carefully read the corresponding instructions for its use. And be sure to test it on yourself even before the start of the sea voyage for individual intolerance.
Most often, so-called antihistamines are used to combat kinetosis – diphenhydramine, suprastin, pipolfen. Many of these drugs are familiar as allergy drugs, and the fight against motion sickness is “part-time work” for them. True, for some of these drugs, it becomes the main one. Aviomarin, bonin and kinedril are only sold as motion sickness remedies.
Kinedryl stands out a little in this group: in addition to the antihistamine, it also contains caffeine. And this supplement allows you to reduce the “inhibitory” effect of the antihistamine component – to reduce lethargy and drowsiness. But even despite the invigorating caffeine, kinedril could not completely get rid of the soporific effect.
It should be remembered that antihistamines do not act immediately (after 2 hours or more), but for a relatively long time. Bonin has a particularly long-lasting effect – up to 12 hours. Therefore, this group of medicines should be taken at least one hour before the trip.
Fast-acting drugs containing belladonna alkaloids can be attributed. Among them is such a well-known drug as Aeron, and not so often used Bellataminal and Bellaspon.
Among the official fighters against motion sickness there are also homeopathic preparations – domestic air-sea and German vertigoheel. These drugs act according to the classic homeopathic principle “like cures like”: they contain those components that provoke symptoms typical of motion sickness – nausea, vomiting, dizziness. But thanks to meager doses, they have a curative, not provocative effect.
Recently a biologically active supplement “Companion” has appeared. This is also an effective remedy for motion sickness, containing natural plant products – peeled ginger rhizome and chamomile flowers. You need to take it 1-2 tablets 30 minutes before the trip. By the way, ginger has long been used by sailors. Chinese sailors chewed it to reduce seasickness.
Do not have any of these drugs on hand? Validol or Valocordin can help: they can be used as sedatives and antiemetics. Peppermint tea or peppermint extract can help in this situation.
To help people overcome sea or air sickness, pharmacologists have invented many remedies. But most of them have many contraindications and side effects. Natural remedies for motion sickness are absolutely safe, but at the same time they are no less effective than drugs.
The best homeopathic remedy for motion sickness is Nux Vomica. The standard dosage for adults is 10 drops or 3-5 grains to be taken before boarding a vehicle. You can buy Nux Vomica at any homeopathic pharmacy. This component is also part of the complex preparations – the Russian “Avia-Sea” or the German Nux Vomica-Homaccord.
In ancient times, Asian sailors had a habit of chewing ginger during long sea voyages. In the early 1990s, scientists from the US Herbal Medicine Research Laboratory in Salt Lake City decided to test the effectiveness of this ancient custom and conducted an experiment with 36 volunteers who suffered from motion sickness. It turned out that the effectiveness of ginger root powder is superior to known pharmacological drugs for motion sickness. To get rid of seasickness, take one gram of dried ginger root powder before you travel. If you feel nauseous during the trip, it is worth “upping the dose” – drink some ginger beer or eat a couple of gingerbread cookies. Ginger caramels are also suitable – after taking them, do not brush your teeth or rinse your mouth for a while.
Another piece of advice borrowed from sailors. Before the trip, you need to carefully, but tightly enough, tighten your wrists with elastic bandages, which are sold in any pharmacy. This simple measure will create a pressure drop that will save you from discomfort while traveling. In addition, the bandages will constantly act on a special point in the wrist area, which will help overcome nausea. If you are still seasick, for several minutes rhythmically press with a fingernail or a match on another point under the earlobe.
Before traveling, neither starve nor indulge in gluttony. The best option is a small amount of lean protein food such as cottage cheese or a piece of fish. During the trip, especially if you are flying by plane, it is better to refresh yourself with food that you have brought from home in advance. On board, they usually offer quite fatty and sweet food, which can only worsen the condition. Therefore, the best option would be to take a bottle of drinking yogurt or kefir with you, a small portion of cold boiled chicken or turkey. Especially salty and sour foods help to cope with motion sickness. Therefore, during the trip, you can enjoy, for example, pickled herring, various pickles. Remember only that food should be taken in very small portions.
Scientists have shown that an ice pack applied to the head and neck during travel can significantly reduce the intensity of unpleasant symptoms, especially nausea. Ice can be replaced with a damp, cold cloth. This method is especially effective in combination with a warm heating pad on the feet.
An important factor is your mood and behavior during the trip. First, before the trip, convince yourself that this time you definitely won’t get seasick. Focus your eyes on some fixed object or horizon line. Try to provide yourself with constant access to a source of fresh air. And remember that the journey will soon end, and you will finally find yourself where you were so eager to get.
The most important thing is to get in the right mindset before the trip.
Sea sickness. What is Seasickness?
The information in this section should not be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. In case of pain or other exacerbation of the disease, only the attending physician should prescribe diagnostic tests. For diagnosis and proper treatment, you should contact your doctor.
Seasickness is a pathological condition resulting from the motion of the sea. It is manifested by nausea, dizziness, cephalalgia, vomiting, malaise, deviations in the emotional sphere (apathy / agitation), a drop in blood pressure, arrhythmia. Diagnosis is based on typical clinical symptoms. For the purpose of professional selection, instrumental methods for studying vestibular function are used. Depending on the manifestations, therapy is carried out with a combination of several drugs of the following groups: anticholinergics, antiemetics, antihistamines, psychostimulants, nootropics.
- Causes of motion sickness
- Symptoms of motion sickness
- Sea sickness treatment
- Prognosis and prevention
- Prices for treatment
Seasickness is an integral part of the concept of “kinetosis” (motion sickness), which includes various types of motion sickness: airsickness, motion sickness in road transport, ride sickness, riding sickness. Symptoms of kinetosis under appropriate conditions are detected in 60% of children, 30% of adults. The marine form is one of the most severe variants of kinetosis. Strong pitching can cause motion sickness of any person, only 3% of people are absolutely resistant to its effects. Most often, seasickness is observed in children 2-12 years old, least often in the elderly. Young people are more susceptible to the disease, according to some reports, about 2/3 of seafarers under 25 years of age suffer from seasickness. Women are less resistant to motion sickness than men. In children under 2 years of age, the symptoms of pathology during sea travel are practically not detected.
Causes of motion sickness
The main etiofactor of kinetosis is the effect on the vestibular apparatus of multidirectional accelerations that exceed the usual threshold stimuli. There are three forms of rolling: vertical (lifting-immersing the ship), keel (oscillations around the transverse axis of the ship), side (oscillations around the longitudinal axis). On large ships, heaving is felt weakly, but keel and side roll are significant. A number of factors are known to increase the likelihood of developing marine kinetosis, these include:
- Intense pitching. A slow, smooth roll is much easier to carry than a fast, fast one. The pitching period (the time the ship moves between the extreme positions) depends on the degree of sea roughness, the size, and the tonnage of the ship.
- Alcohol intake, fatty foods, overeating. These factors negatively affect the state of the body, reduce resistance to rolling. To provoke marine kinetosis can be the abuse of food and alcohol, the intake of carbonated drinks 1-2 days before the start of the voyage.
- Environmental hazards. The likelihood of seasickness increases under the influence of several adverse factors. So, in the engine room of a ship, sailors are affected by noise, vibration, air with harmful impurities.
- Chronic diseases. Cardiovascular pathologies, cholelithiasis, chronic gastritis, nephrolithiasis are accompanied by increased sensitivity of the receptor apparatus of the affected organ. As a result, slight accelerations cause a violent vegeto-somatic reaction.
- CNS pathology. Organic, functional diseases of the central nervous system cause hyperexcitability, inadequate response of the central structures that perceive impulses from peripheral receptors. Under such conditions, enhanced statokinetic effects during rolling easily provoke kinetosis.
- Optical factor. Constantly moving objects in front of the eyes contribute to motion sickness. Irritation of the visual analyzer, similar to the vestibular one, can cause dizziness and nausea.
- Psycho-emotional state. A tendency to anxiety-depressive states, self-absorption, a sense of fear increase the likelihood of motion sickness. Concentration of attention on a certain occupation, sleep helps to overcome kinetosis.
Despite the widespread prevalence, the mechanism of the development of pathology has not been fully studied. Many researchers believe that motion sickness is associated with the response of the CNS to increased afferent impulses. The peripheral vestibular analyzer is located in the inner ear. The receptors of the semicircular tubules perceive angular acceleration, the otolith organ – linear and gravitational acceleration. The information received through the vestibular nerve is transmitted to the central nervous system, supplemented by impulses from proprio- and baroreceptors. The result of processing the incoming afferent information is a response impulse going to the muscles, somatic organs, vegetative centers and aimed at adapting the body to the prevailing conditions. At the same time, many vegetative-visceral reactions occur, causing the main symptoms of kinetosis.
According to the theory of “sensory conflict”, the decisive factor is the inconsistency of sensory information entering the CNS. Confirmation is the aggravation of symptoms in the cabin, when vestibuloreceptor impulses indicate constant movement, and visual – the absence of movement of surrounding objects. Similarly, some experienced pilots flying as passengers experience airsickness. The usual combination of vestibular and visual information in the cockpit is replaced by a combination of identical vestibular sensations with a different visual afferentation due to the situation in the aircraft cabin.
Seasickness has variable clinical manifestations. The clinical polymorphism of the condition formed the basis of several classifications. Below are the two main ones.
According to the predominant clinical manifestations, 4 forms are distinguished:
- Nervous. The clinical picture is dominated by cephalgia, heaviness in the head, dizziness, drowsiness. Possibly impaired vision and hearing.
- Gastrointestinal. Accompanied by nausea, vomiting, changes in taste, a feeling of unpleasant aftertaste, decreased appetite. In some cases, there is intolerance to the smell of tobacco smoke, burnt food, etc.
- Cardiovascular. It is typical for people with cardiovascular pathology. It begins with tachycardia, increased blood pressure, palpitations, arrhythmia. Subsequently, bradycardia, arterial hypotension occurs.
- Mixed. Occurs most often. It is clinically manifested by a variable combination of symptoms of various forms.
According to the mental characteristics of the course, seasickness is classified into 3 options:
- Asthenic. The patient is depressed, asthenic, gets tired quickly, is somewhat retarded. The mood background is lowered.
- Agitated. Excessive talkativeness, fussiness, mobility, increased emotionality, theatricality of speech, pretentiousness of movements are noted.
- Mixed. It is an alternation of periods of asthenia and agitation. Perhaps the prevalence of one variant of mental reaction.
Symptoms of motion sickness
Symptoms are highly variable. Some patients experience apathy, weakness, lie on a bunk, others hurriedly walk around the deck, excited, extremely talkative. Typical dizziness, cephalalgia, nausea, giving temporary relief vomiting. Diplopia, chills, increased salivation may be detected. Patients complain of lack of appetite, rejection of many odors, changes in taste sensations. Disorders of the motor function of the gastrointestinal tract are not uncommon: diarrhea, constipation. The state of motion sickness is extremely difficult to tolerate, accompanied by pronounced changes in the psycho-emotional sphere.
In mild cases, motion sickness is limited to 2-3 days of dizziness, nausea. In severe cases, the patient is pale, the face is covered with cold sweat, there is bradycardia, repeated vomiting, an increase in respiratory rate, cardiac arrhythmias, impaired coordination of movements, a drop in pressure, and a confused state of consciousness are possible. Sometimes seasickness has a latent course. There is asthenia, decreased performance without obvious clinical manifestations of kinetosis. The absence of vivid symptoms makes it impossible to timely diagnose the latent form. A similar situation is dangerous if a sick team member receives a task that requires responsible performance.
Diagnostic measures include taking an anamnesis (no symptoms before the trip, the presence of chronic diseases), detailing complaints, assessing the general status, and neurological examination of the patient. It is necessary to exclude diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, intestinal infection, cardiovascular diseases. The study of the neurological status does not reveal meningeal symptoms, focal neurological deficit, allows us to reject the possibility of neuroinfection (meningitis, encephalitis). Diagnosis of predisposition to kinetosis is necessary for the professional selection of sailors. The assessment of the vestibular analyzer is carried out by the following methods:
- Vestibulometry is a study of the reaction of the vestibular apparatus to various stimuli. It is carried out by using devices that simulate the impact of various forms of acceleration.
- Caloric test. Gives an idea of the excitability of the labyrinth, allows you to identify labyrinth pathology.
- Rotational tests. Required to determine the adaptive capacity of the vestibular apparatus in terms of rotation. Carried out with the help of a special chair, where the test is located.
- Video oculography. It makes it possible to detect latent nystagmus, indicating a subclinical pathology of the labyrinth.
Sea sickness treatment
You can reduce the symptoms of motion sickness by eliminating aggravating factors. You need frequent light meals in small portions with the exception of fatty, whole milk, carbonated liquids. It is useful to drink water, tea with cranberry juice, lemon. Facilitates the state of resorption of lollipops, crackers. It is recommended to stand on the deck, fixing your gaze on the horizon, or take a horizontal position in the cabin (optimally, fall asleep). Pharmaceuticals that have anti-sickness effects include:
- Cholinolytics (hyoscyamine, platifillin). Widely used at the end of the 20th century, due to pronounced side effects, they are currently used to a limited extent. Scopolamine is the most effective. A special application form of the drug in the form of a patch allows for uniform diffusion of scopolamine into the blood, which significantly eliminates side effects.
- Sodium bicarbonate. Showed high efficiency against motion sickness. Intravenous infusions, rectal suppositories are prescribed.
- Antihistamines (dimenhydrinate, meclozine, promethazine). They block histamine receptors in the inner ear, vestibular nuclei, reducing vestibulo-vegetative reactions. Well tolerated, used prophylactically.
- Psychostimulants (mesocarb, caffeine). They are prescribed in combination with antihistamines / anticholinergics. Reduce the side effect in the form of CNS depression.
- Antiemetics (metoclopramide). Needed to stop repeated vomiting.
- Nootropics (aminophenylbutyric acid, piracetam). They increase the adaptive capabilities of the central nervous system, improve cerebral metabolism.
- Combination pharmaceuticals. They are a combination of several pharmaceuticals of the same type (scopolamine + hyoscyamine), agents of a different mechanism of action (antihistamine + psychostimulant).
Prognosis and prevention
Seasickness goes away when you stop rolling.