Understanding Seasickness and How to Deal with It


The call of the open sea is undeniable for many, but for some, the journey can be marred by a relentless adversary: seasickness. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a newbie to nautical adventures, understanding seasickness, its symptoms, prevention strategies, and potential medical assistance on board can turn your sea voyage into a smoother, nausea-free experience.

What is Seasickness?

Seasickness, also known as motion sickness, is a condition that occurs when your body’s inner ear, eyes, and sensory nerves send conflicting signals to your brain. This sensory dissonance is typically triggered by the rocking motion of a boat or ship. Your body perceives movement, but your eyes may not confirm it, leading to symptoms of nausea, dizziness, and discomfort.

Signs and Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of seasickness is crucial for managing it effectively:

  1. Nausea and vomiting: The most common and often the most unpleasant symptom.
  2. Dizziness and vertigo: A sensation of spinning or unsteadiness.
  3. Cold sweats and clammy skin.
  4. Fatigue and weakness.
  5. Headache.
  6. Loss of appetite.
  7. Increased salivation.

Ways to Minimize Seasickness

While there’s no guaranteed way to prevent seasickness entirely, you can take steps to minimize its impact:

  1. Choose your seat wisely: Sit in the middle of the boat, where motion is less pronounced.
  2. Maintain your gaze on the horizon: This can help your brain reconcile conflicting signals.
  3. Avoid heavy meals before boarding.
  4. Stay hydrated but avoid alcohol and excessive caffeine.
  5. Ginger remedies: Ginger candies or teas can help alleviate nausea.
  6. Medications: Consult a healthcare provider for over-the-counter or prescription medications suitable for your condition.

Relieving Seasickness Symptoms

If you do succumb to seasickness, there are several ways to alleviate the symptoms:

  1. Fresh air: Get out on deck and breathe in the sea air.
  2. Focus on the horizon: Gazing at a fixed point can help stabilize your inner ear.
  3. Rest: Lie down in a quiet, cool area to reduce sensory input.
  4. Stay hydrated: Sip on clear fluids to prevent dehydration.
  5. Acupressure bands: Some people find relief using wristbands designed for motion sickness.
  6. Medication: If prescribed, take seasickness medications as directed.

Medical Assistance on Board

For those voyaging with a professional medical crew, such as a paramedic or doctor, there are additional options for managing seasickness:

  1. Intravenous (IV) fluids: In severe cases of dehydration due to vomiting, IV fluids can help rehydrate the patient.
  2. Antiemetic medications: Doctors or Paramedics can administer stronger anti-nausea medications via injection or IV.
  3. Assessing and treating complications: Medical professionals can monitor and manage complications like severe dehydration or injuries resulting from falls due to dizziness.


Seasickness may be a common challenge for sailors, but with proper awareness, prevention strategies, and, if necessary, medical assistance on board, you can tackle this issue head-on. By taking steps to minimize seasickness and knowing how to alleviate its symptoms, you can ensure a more enjoyable and comfortable journey on the open water, leaving you free to fully embrace the beauty and adventure of the sea.