Just about everyone who has been on a cruise can give you advice about seasickness, whether they have suffered from it or not. But, how do you know which advice is good advice? Read on as we deal with some myths and realities about seasickness and how you can cope if it visits you.
Seasickness is a type of motion sickness, caused by conflicting signals from different senses. Your eyes tell you that your surroundings are still, but the equilibrium sensors in your ears say your surroundings are moving. For some people, the brain and body try to deal with this conflict by shutting down some activities – like digestion, which leads to nausea.
History is full of creative solutions for seasickness, such as:
1. Gently slap the face of the captain with a flounder (do this three times)
2. Drink a glass of ice water while standing on one leg
3. Down a shot of rum before bed on the night before you set sail
Do we even need to say that all of these can be fun to do, but none are proven to work as seasickness remedies? Now that those myths are busted, here are some practical steps you can take:
1. Don’t close your eyes or try to focus on a book. This won’t help resolve the conflict between your senses, and may make you feel worse. Instead, sit by a window or on deck and focus on the horizon, which can help reset your equilibrium.
2. Being on deck also has the benefit of putting you in fresh air. Strong smells – even a food or perfume that you usually like – seem to make seasickness worse.
3. Ask for some green apples and crackers to nibble (cruise ship crew members swear by this drug-free remedy). You can also ask for some ginger tea: ginger has long been a popular home remedy for all types of motion sickness. You can even purchase ginger pills on shore and bring them with you. (By the way, the popular TV show MythBusters found that ginger was the only seasickness remedy that worked well, with no side effects).
4. Try an over-the-counter anti-seasickness remedy. If you didn’t bring any with you, you can get some from the ship’s medical office or purser’s desk.
Hopefully, these suggestions will provide some immediate relief and your seasickness will pass quickly as you get accustomed to the motion of the ship. Then, you can get on with all the fun of your cruise!
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