Dr. Michael Heublum - MD

Sea Sickness

Sea sickness is often triggered by motion. This condition can occur on a boat, plane, car, train, bus, amusement rides, and virtual reality experiences. A person can experience sea sickness from seeing the movement of things and people.

Symptoms of

Sea Sickness

The sensory system sends messages to the central nervous system. It is made up of the eyes, skin pressure receptors, the inner ear, and the muscle and joint sensory receptors. The symptoms of sea sickness (and motion sickness) occur from conflicting messages to the central nervous system. A person with this condition may experience the following symptoms.

Sea sickness can come on quickly. This condition starts with feelings of uneasiness and makes you break out into a cold sweat. It is often followed by dizziness. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, increased saliva production, headaches, and fatigue.

Causes

Sea sickness occur from conflicting messages to the central nervous system. Some examples of how the conflicting messages affect your body are, your body can feel the motion, but you cannot see it. If you can see the motion, but not feel it, then it sends conflicting messages to your brain. These conflicting messages cause the person to experience symptoms of sea sickness.

 

Diagnosis

Getting a diagnosis for sea sickness starts with scheduling an appointment with a doctor. The doctor will ask the patient about his or her symptoms and what causes them. You will have to explain the situation of when your symptoms occur. If flying on an airplane gives you motion sickness, then you must tell this to your doctor. Laboratory testing is not required for diagnosing sea sickness.

Treatments for Sea Sickness 

Most cases of this condition are mild and treatable at home or in a therapy office. The symptoms usually stop when the motion stops. However, some people have problems with symptoms lingering.

One remedy is to look out the window. You want to look towards the direction that vehicle is traveling. It gives you a visual affirmation of motion, which creates an inner sense of balance. If you are in a vehicle without windows or it is at night, then you should take a nap. It will resolve the mix messages between your inner ear and eyes. Virtual Reality rehab is also an effective method without the use of medications by inducing dizziness to desensitize the feeling of sea sickness.

Chewing gum can alleviate symptoms for mild cases of sea sickness. It helps with resolving the conflict between balance and vision. Garlic can also be used to relieve symptoms. You can take it fresh or in the pill form. Other treatments for sea sickness may include pills for motion sickness, a change in your environment, tea, peppermint, and acupuncture.

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Sea Sickness