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Dealing With Seasickness Underwater

Submitted by admin on 2010-02-26 | Last Modified on 2010-04-07

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Some individuals experience underwater seasickness when diving that can really put a damper on their enjoyment. This is basically a form of motion sickness which everyone can be susceptible to if the right circumstances occur. Even though quite a bit of research has been done on this condition, there is still a lot we do not understand about it. Some people are more resistant to this condition than others but it can happen to just about anyone if enough angular acceleration is experienced.

Interestingly enough, even astronauts are susceptible to motion sickness and more than 70 percent of them experience these symptoms within the first 72 hours of orbital flight. If you have ever been sea sick, you are familiar with the nausea that is the primary symptom. It has been theorized that this results from the brain’s inability to make sense out of all the different signals it is receiving.

Fortunately the sufferer of the sea sickness often feels a reduction in nausea once they descend into the water and the rocking motion comes to an end. The sea sickness can begin while on the boat as which is most often the case, though there have been reports from few that the floating motion while diving causes them motion sickness, it is by no means common though. The spatial distortions and poor visibility, along with several other factors, can powerfully accelerate the condition so if you are feeling uneasy beforehand take this as a warning to avoid diving.

So with all the risk that underwater seasickness poses to the diver, is there anything that can be done in order to prevent it? Unfortunately, just as there is not much we understand about how the condition works, there is little we can do in order to keep it from happening. However, there are many different potential solutions out there so the key is to try them all until you find something that works. For one thing, there are currently many medications available; but keep in mind that they could cause you to suffer from undesired side effects. Probably the most common medications developed to treat people who are sea sick are antihistamines. Products such as Dramamine, Benadryl, and Bonine, although originally developed in order to treat allergies, have shown to be quite effective, but on the negative side they often cause drowsiness which is not good when you are in the water.

There are many other medications, typically available by prescription, so speak to your physician and he or she may be able to recommend something.

Finally, there are a few simple things that you can do in order to prevent underwater seasickness naturally. It is most important that you stay hydrated and have plenty of rest and nourishment before setting out. Avoid eating 2 hours beforehand however, though make sure you have enough energy in you for the day ahead. Make sure that all your gear is ready before the ship takes off since you will not want to deal with it if you are not feeling well.


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