Q

QUESTION:

My husband’s arranged for us to go on a yacht charter for my birthday but I’m worried I’m going to get seaskick. Can you give me any advice on ways to prevent seasickness or any medication that I should take with me?

ANSWER:

Editorial Team

Anyone can get motion sicknesss. It happens when your brain receives conflicting information from your body, your eyes, and your inner ear (which tells your brain how your head is moving). For example, your inner ear may detect a rolling motion that your eyes can’t see. You can do a few things to try to help with motion sickness:

  • Lie down if you can, or shut your eyes, and keep your head still. Look at the horizon.
  • Add some distractions -- music, for example. Or eat something. Dry crackers may calm a queasy stomach. Light, fizzy drinks, like ginger ale, also can help.

If you can’t keep it at bay, there are two kinds of medicine you can take for motion sickness.

The first is antihistamines, both prescription and over-the-counter. These are the most commonly used medications for motion sickness, and they’re available in any drug store and in many supermarkets. Make sure to read the drug labels, though. One of the big side effects of these medications is drowsiness. Some products use different ingredients that don’t make you as sleepy, but they may not work as well.

The other well-known drug used to keep motion sickness under control is scopolamine. It’s an adhesive patch you put behind your ear a few hours before you think you’ll need it, and you'll need to have a prescription to get it.

As with all drugs, check with your doctor before you take them or give them to your child.

(summed up from an article entitled “how to beat motion sickness” published on webmd.com)

Accupressure wrist bands are also available to buy, and work by applying pressure to specific points on the wrists to help to ease symptoms. Avoid going below decks and sit near the boat’s centre of gravity, where the motion is much less exaggerated. As already mentioned, keep your eyes on the horizon since it is fixed and immovable and will give your eye and inner ear a greater sense of balance.

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