Motion sickness is a sure-fire way to put a damper on an otherwise great day. Once it starts, it’s really difficult to break the cycle and you’re often left to endure the misery until you can get your feet back on solid ground. PADI’s website recently featured some great info from the Diver’s Alert Network.
- On a boat: Stay on deck and focus on the horizon. Avoid inhaling exhaust fumes.
- In a car: Sit in the front seat. If you are the passenger, look at the scenery in the distance.
- Do not read in moving vehicles. Reading makes motion sickness worse.
- Avoid heavy meals prior to diving.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol the evening before you travel.
- If possible, stand up. Sitting or lying down can make you feel worse.
- Eat dry crackers to help settle a queasy stomach.
- Avoid others who have become nauseous with motion sickness.
Motion Sickness Treatment:
Over-the-counter products: Antihistamines are commonly used both to prevent and treat motion sickness. A side effect of antihistamines is drowsiness, which is exaggerated when alcohol is consumed. Drowsiness may adversely affect diver safety. Meclizine, the medication in Bonine or Dramamine II, is considered less drowsy. It is actually a very effective medication and available by prescription under the name “Antivert” – given it’s use in treating vertigo.
Prescription products: The scopolamine skin patch (Transderm Scop) is a popular option. The patch is applied to the skin area behind the ear at least eight hours before exposure and can help prevent motion sickness for up to three days per patch. Scopolamine may cause dry mouth, blurry vision, drowsiness and dizziness. Patients with glaucoma, enlarged prostate and some other health problems should not use this drug. Be sure to tell your doctor of your existing health problems to help determine which drug is best suited for you. As mentioned above, meclizine is also available as a prescription.
Alternative remedies: Various alternative remedies have been promoted as being helpful in relieving or preventing motion sickness. In most cases, the evidence of efficacy is missing. However, if you have mild symptoms, you may try ginger or peppermint products to ease your symptoms without risking side effects.