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Sea sickness affects as much as 70% of the UK population, but that does not stop people jumping on boats and cruises – and fortunately there are some things you can do to prevent sea sickness from ruining your day.

What is Sea Sickness?

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness experienced when travelling by sea. It is typically defined by a feeling of nausea and can result in vomiting or, in extreme cases, feelings of vertigo. 

At its core, seasickness is a result of imbalance; it is a conflict in the inner ear which is caused by the erratic movement of the vessel on the water. Subsequently, it throws off the sense of balance.

A lot of motion, in this case in a boat, means an overload of information for your brain. The result is feeling sick to your stomach, queasy, headaches and clammy and sometimes even vomiting.

How to Prevent Sea Sickness

There are many ways to prevent sea sickness. 

  1. Travel well-rested – there is evidence to suggest that feeling tired or worn out can exacerbate feelings of seasickness 
  2. Fresh air – if you are suffering from seasickness, going out to an open deck or a site of fresh air can be useful. It also helps your brain make sense of the motion as you can physically see it
  3. Eat something – this may seem like the last thing you want to do when feeling seasick but having something in your stomach is better than nothing. Experts recommend sticking to light and bland foods such as crackers or plain bread. Also, ginger and peppermint can have calming effects on the stomach
  4. Specific medication – there are specific medications available for nausea known as antiemetic drugs. They can include antihistamines or scopolamine drugs, both of which can counteract the release of certain neurochemicals. However, some can cause side effects such as drowsiness so it is worth exploring options before you set sail
  5. Acupressure wristband – these wristbands are designed to apply pressure to your wrist which can help to avoid nausea
  6. Choose your route carefully – certain areas are notorious for their choppy waters so if you really struggle with seasickness, try and avoid the areas with the roughest waters

Can You Get Health Insurance for Sea Sickness?

Due to lots of remedies available, seasickness is not something that requires health insurance cover, explains boat insurer Taylor Watkins. When sailing, there is always a risk of feeling nauseous at sea. However, with the above methods, this usually passes very quickly or can be easily treated. 

When travelling by sea, there are different health insurance covers which are recommendable and you can always raise this with your travel insurance provider if you think that you might need medication or treatment whilst you are abroad or overseas.

If travelling to more exotic countries, and planning to get off the ship, you may need specific vaccines such as cholera or hepatitis. 

All ships have fully equipped medical teams on board should anything happen which can cover anything from the most basic of first aid to more complex medical emergencies. However, regardless of this it is always advisable to have a fully comprehensive health insurance policy in place.

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