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Seasickness, sea sickness

By Rawlings Oke Godwin

On 14 Aug, 2021

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INTRODUCTION:  seasickness is one of the most unpleasant experiences while travelling by sea. It is commoner in individuals who have had motion sickness while travelling by land, air and amusement park rides. 

DEFINITION:  This is illness caused by motion during sea travel.

MECHANISISM OF OCCURRENCE: Seasickness is usually as a result of conflicts/ disorderliness in the human balancing system (VESTIBULAR SYSTEM located in the middle ear). This conflicts is caused by erratic motion of the sea while onboard a ship or a boat.

Following the conflicts, the brain responds by releasing some hormones that eventually leads to nausea, vomiting, vertigo and eventually the symptoms seasickness (motion sickness)

PRECIPITATING FACTORS:  the following are some of the triggers.

  • Bad smell
  • Poor ventilation
  • Allergy
  • Fish smell
  • Smell from sea
  • Some perfumes
  • Chemical, diesel etc.


  • Be prepared for possible reoccurrence by going onboard with some motion sickness medications if you have had motion sickness before. Eg: ondansetron, avomin or other relevant drugs.
  • Avoid precipitating factors (triggers)
  • Fresh air can be helpful. Hence, try standing or sitting on the deck
  • Keep yourself busy as much as you can. This will help distract you from the discomfort.
  • Avoid eating large quantity of food and drink at once.
  • Try to eat and drink gradually even if you are vomiting. This will help replace loses (especially fluid).
  • Make sure the Doctor/ Nurse or Medic onboard are aware of your condition
  • Don’t be shy to hold a plastic bag or container. you can vomit into it if you have to vomit 
  • Chewing gum can be helpful.


Recovering from seasickness is usually a matter of time for most people. Seasickness usually resolve within the first 12-24 hours after setting sail and improves as the person gets used to the new environment in few days.

CONCLUSION: Seasoned sea travellers, Mariners, Marine scientist, Sailors, Medic onboard and some professional fishermen also experience seasickness while at sea. Don’t be embarrassed because of getting seasick.

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