What Causes Seasickness and Motion Sickness on Boat?

Have you ever been seasick? It’s a very unpleasant experience and can easily ruin a day out on the water. Seasickness susceptibility is highly variable. Those who get motion sickness in the car, plane, or on an amusement park ride are more inclined to seasickness while aboard a vessel. Motion sickness is an imbalance between what you see and what you feel. As this can lead to varying risks, be sure to obtain boat insurance before going out on the water so you are prepared for any mishaps.

So What Is Motion Sickness?

Seasickness is caused by conflict in the inner ear (where the human balance mechanism resides) and is commonly and easily brought on by a vessel’s erratic motion on the water. When an individual is on a rocking boat, the inner ear detects changes in both up-and-down and side-to-side acceleration as one’s body is in motion along with the boat.

The cabin moves with the passenger, so our eyes register a relatively stable environment. This messes with perception so the brain then ends stress-related hormones that can cause nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.

Symptoms can be magnified by the strong odors of things like diesel fumes and fish. Seasickness typically occurs 12 to 24 hours after “setting sail,” and diminishes after acclimating to the ship’s motion.

Other Triggers and Symptoms

The good news is that motion sickness is not life-threatening. However, it can make traveling extremely unpleasant. Some triggers include being in the back seat of the boat unable to see the horizon, reading on the boat, or not getting enough air. Motion sickness is common in older people, pregnant women, and children between the ages of 5 and 12, and those who get migraine headaches.

Once the motion stops, the individual should quickly begin to feel better. In rare cases, motion sickness is triggered by a problem with your inner ear, such as fluid buildup or an ear infection. Parkinson’s disease is also known to cause motion sickness.

Symptoms can strike without warning and quickly become worse.  Common symptoms include:

  • Vomiting
  • Pale skin
  • Headache
  • A cold sweat
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability

You may notice a pattern of sickness when you travel. It may be helpful to consult a doctor if you experience motion sickness regularly and speak to your California boat insurance agent about the risks and safety precautions.

About Mariners Insurance

Mariners General Insurance Group was founded in 1959 to protect boat owners and marine business clients. We are marine insurance experts and insure boats worldwide – in every ocean on the planet. Marine insurance is critical if you own a boat or nautical business. Trust the professionals with all of your Boat Insurance needs – trust Mariners Insurance. Call us at (888) 402-5018 any time you have questions or concerns about insurance for your vessel or marine business.