There are many people who would like to enjoy the experience of sailing but there are many people who have been marked by an unpleasant experience and prefer not to repeat it.
One of the most common disadvantages is what we call dizziness.
The symptoms are varied and include paleness, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, changes in vision and sweating. Even in some cases, it can lead to loss of consciousness and fainting.
Basically, it is because our body experiences movements to which we are not accustomed and the consequent loss of visual signals, which affects our vestibular system and our vertical and horizontal balance in the inner ear.
Although it does not depend exclusively on our will, we can do much to avoid it or keep it within the limits acceptable to us:
Get enough rest before you leave. Fatigue and stress increase our vulnerability to dizziness.
Avoid large dinners the day before departure and try not to overindulge with alcoholic beverages. Heavy digestion, having little sleep, and hangovers are obvious factors of dizziness .. We can always leave the celebrations for after the crossing or say goodbye two days before departure so that the body has time to recover.
Breakfast before sailing should be used to soothe our stomachs. Therefore, it is important to drink liquids (juice, coffee, water, etc.) that hydrate us, but the most important thing is to drink solid foods such as cookies, bread, sweet or salty pasta, etc. to help us stabilize the feeling of nausea and avoid vomiting.
Avoid thinking or believing that we will get dizzy because we are subject to it or because it has happened before or for any other reason. There are people who, before going out to sea, already believe, think and affirm that they will get dizzy and that it does not have to be that way. Although the causes of dizziness are organic, mental suggestion can also contribute to this. It is better to think of something other than vertigo.
Take an anti-daze medication (known to most people). They are available in tablets that can be purchased at any pharmacy. It is recommended to take a pill half an hour before departure and not when you begin to feel dizzy. It is true that they have side effects such as sleep or fatigue, so there are also those who carry caffeine. Although this is a well-known remedy, it is not always effective for everyone and is not always recommended (read the brochures that accompany the medications).
There are also adhesive patches that are placed on the neck behind the ear or bracelets based on acupuncture principles that press a specific point between the veins of the forearm at the wrist. They can be bought at pharmacies and in the same way that pills do not always work for everyone. That is why it is recommended to try different options and choose the one that suits us best.
There are other alternative remedies, such as sending ginger. Ginger root can be an effective antiemetic.
Sitting in the direction of travel and not perpendicular to the movement of the boat, although it is also true that boats, especially in case of waves or bad weather, move in more than one direction at a time.
Spend as much time as possible on deck, where the navigation movements are less noticeable, and always in a place where you can feel the fresh air, especially in the face. We must also try to prevent the wind from reaching us through certain odors such as fuel or tobacco.
Avoid entering closed areas and / or areas with little or no ventilation such as cabins, warehouses, etc. If it is necessary to do better, ask someone less vulnerable to dizziness than us or even better than us to anticipate before leaving what we may need on deck (swimsuits, towels, creams, warm clothes, food, drinks, cameras, etc …) to avoid problems later.
Avoid focusing on static and close objects (this is why reading is not recommended) and also avoid constant focus and blurred vision. It is best to keep your eyes fixed on distant points such as birds, clouds or other ships that sail in the distance. If possible, move the points away.
It is also possible to keep the axis of vision on the horizon or if you sail near the coast in a terrestrial visual reference. You do not have to look around, but you have to look around you. The essential thing is to have a broad vision of the horizon or any other reference in our peripheral vision.
Avoid comfortable and / or passive attitudes. It is not about being hyperactive, but about performing a task that keeps our attention awake and focused on something other than vertigo and its effects.
Adopting a good body posture can also help us to distract ourselves and adapt to the constant movements of the boat. For this, while the boat is in motion, we will sit upright and try to keep the head and upper body on our hips using the muscles of the trunk and neck. The idea is to try to match our movements with those of the boat. Once you get the beat, it’s more relaxing than trying to fight them.
Eat in moderation while browsing. Foods such as apples, crackers or nuts are ideal for not having an empty stomach. However, diet is very important when you have already started to vomit.
If we begin to experience symptoms of dizziness, a cold water bath or a bath in the sea will help us stimulate blood circulation, reactivate circulation and clear our minds. In the water, the sensations of vertigo are suppressed or disappear temporarily.
It is also important that the employer knows. It is no shame, because an experienced skipper knows how unpleasant it is to get dizzy, and also knows that a slight change of course to reduce the amplitude and frequency of waves on the boat can help make the crossing more comfortable.
For some people, it is helpful to stretch with your eyes closed and try to sleep, preferably in a cabin. This will not make the symptoms go away, but we can feel them less.
If we have passed the point of no return and we have to vomit, it is better to help our body and not try to resist it. Instead of looking for a sink, we will do it to leeward (always in the same wind direction) or on the deck inside a bag that we can use for this purpose.
You may feel better after vomiting, but remember that for some people, nausea does not stop and episodes of vomiting return. It is strongly recommended to try to replenish nutrients and fluids even if you are not hungry or thirsty. In this sense, sweet or salty cookies or isotonic drinks in small doses will help us reduce the net loss of liquids, sugars and electrolytes.
We must not forget that the reaction of the body is a normal organic reaction to the sudden and unexpected movements to which we are not accustomed, but whose duration and amplitude depend on our sensitivity. Some people adapt before and others need more time and this is also normal because there is no fixed and invariable answer for each person.
As we have seen, there are many things that can be done to prevent dizziness and its unpleasant effects. Medicines and alternative remedies can be useful until our bodies get used to them. Other tips will also help us if we are attentive and able to recognize the first symptoms of dizziness.
In the end, it could be said that there are two basic solutions to avoid seasickness. One would be to stay on land and never sail, and the other would be just the opposite: go sailing and enjoy it to the fullest! Do not hesitate .. Despite having a bad experience, if you follow these tips you can overcome the dizziness.