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How To Treat Motion Sickness While SCUBA Diving

   February 5th, 2023   Posted In: How-To   Tags:

How To Treat Motion Sickness While SCUBA Diving

Chances are if you’ve landed on this page, you deal with motion sickness. We all know the feeling. That sudden onset of your vision starting to spin, that rise of unease in your stomach, and sometimes the feeling of weakness or literally turning green or yellow. It’s not a good time, that’s for sure. But motion sickness shouldn’t interfere with your next SCUBA dive. Am I right or am I right? 

Find out what motion sickness is, what types of symptoms it causes, and how to treat motion sickness while SCUBA diving

What is Motion Sickness?

In a nutshell, your eyes and inner ear can send mixed signals to your brain once motion is detected. Your eyes and brain are playing tricks on you. For instance, you’re on a boat heading to a beautiful dive spot. Your eyes and inner ear see and feel the speed of the boat and the chop of the waves, and that signals alarm to your brain. Your body is telling your brain this movement on the water isn’t typical, and your brain causes your body to react because it’s trying to rid itself of this unnatural occurrence. Thus, motion sickness sets in. 

If you have a history of motion sickness, whether it’s in a car, a boat, airplane, etc., make sure you come prepared before you set out on a SCUBA diving adventure.

What Are the Symptoms of Motion Sickness

Motion sickness appears in different ways for people. Some may experience dizziness while others may vomit. These are the most common symptoms of motion or seasickness:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Upset stomach
  • Dry heaving
  • Weakness
  • Sweating more than usual
  • Vomiting 

Now, let’s ensure that you don’t experience any of these icky symptoms before you go diving. 

Ways to Treat Motion Sickness While Diving

Don’t let your diving experience be ruined by motion sickness. Here are our top tips on how to treat motion sickness while SCUBA diving. 

  • Rest up the night before and drink plenty of liquids (not alcohol or caffeinated drinks)
  • Avoid greasy or spicy foods the night before or day of
  • Have some fresh ginger root or candied ginger or lozenges to nibble on if you feel a bout of motion sickness coming on
  • Pack some medication such as Dramamine or Bonine 
  • Wear pressure-point wrist bands
  • Consider a medicated patch (prescribed by your doctor)
  • Find a spot in the middle of the boat to sit during the journey
  • Direct your gaze ahead – don’t look down or look at the waves
  • Sip on a carbonated beverage slowly or on something with electrolytes in it

Another quick tip is to be mindful of avoiding decompression sickness, especially if your body is already on edge from motion sickness. 

Essentially, prevention is key when it comes to motion sickness while diving. And preparation comes very much in handy as well. Don’t let your motion sickness ruin your beautiful time exploring the depths of the ocean. Make sure you’re prepped and ready in advance! 

Lauren (LoLo) has been turning words into blog posts for Wetsuit Wearhouse since 2014. She learned to surf for the first time ever in Costa Rica but she gravitates more towards SUP. When she's not scouring the web for travel deals, you can find her either hiking, running, gardening, tending to her animals, or reading a good book outside on a beautiful day.

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