Home >> Standard Physician >> Orthopedics to Tartaric >> Seasickness

Seasickness

board, ship, persons, seasick, movements, severe and axis

SEASICKNESS. --Name given to a number of distressing symptoms experienced on board ship, and caused by the peculiar movements of the vessel. There are different degrees of seasickness. The simplest form is characterised by lack of appetite, a loathing for all food, and a sensitiveness to the odours of dining-room and kitchen. As a rule, however, the symptoms are more severe. The majority of seasick persons are affected with an inclination to yawn frequently, and much nausea and vomiting follow. The typical seasick person lies in his bed perfectly apathetic, vomits everything he eats, and finally vomits also bile and mucus.

Countless external and internal remedies have been extolled as efficacious cures for seasickness. Not a single one, however, has fulfilled the promise held out. A strong will and an absence of fear are the two things best calcu lated to make seasickness subside. it is commonly supposed that a sound stomach is a preliminary requirement. Such, however, is not the case. Very often persons suffering from severe stomach trouble are good sailors ; while others, who have strong and healthy stomachs, get ill even when the weather is fair and the sea practically smooth. Many persons lie down in their cabins as soon as they get on board a ship. This affords relief, but does not pro•ent seasickness. It is more expedient to remain on deck, in the fresh air, as much as possible, and also to take meals on deck. Since it is advisable to avoid indigestible foods when ashore, it follows that these must be absolutely abstained from when on the water. Only a limited quantity of food should be taken, and one should not let the customary big dinners given on board the large transatlantic liners beguile one into eating too much. It is well to partake of a light meal about every four hours. Liquids, particularly alcoholic drinks, should be taken in moderation, especially when one is not accustomed to them. Attention must be paid to regulating the movements of the bowels by eating plenty of cooked fruit, and by drinking bitter mineral waters, etc. If the seasickness becomes very severe, the ship's doctor can relieve, at least, the most trying symptoms with appropriate remedies. The massage method described under VOMITING often

gives good results.

Among the motions of the ship, the rolling (that is, the motion upon the short axis) is the most disagreeable for the seasick person, and becomes more annoying when one moves away from the centre of the ship, in either direction. This annoyance is further aggravated when the screw passes out of the water, when, on account of diminished resistance, it revolves more rapidly. This condition affects even a good sailor if he sleeps above or near the screw. It is, therefore, best to choose a cabin amidships. The pitching motion (on the long axis) is less apt to produce seasickness. The best position in which to sleep is one in which the body is kept parallel with the axis on which the vessel moves, so that the body rolls from side to side rather than up and down. Although every seasick person imagines that he is going to die, there are no records of death from seasickness. The majority of patients recover in a few days, or even sooner if they are very energetic.

SEA-TRIPS.—For some persons such trips not only aid recuperation, but, if carried out properly, may effect a cure of a number of complaints. Some conditions, however, may be aggravated on account of the hurry and excitement connected with the preparations for a trip. In long voyages these disadvantages do not count ; and extended trips are, therefore, advisable for patients (chiefly neurasthenics) who wish to be absolutely cut off from the world for a long time. On board a sailing-vessel, taking a trip of several months, a patient is free from the worries of business and from the noise and bustle of the streets. He is spared all excitement. The absolute quiet on board ship, the invigorating and dust-free sea-air, the uniform mode of living—all these are of benefit to him. On such an extended voyage the inclination to SEASICKNESS (which see) is soon overcome. Moreover, the movements of a sailing-vessel are said to be less conducive to this condition than those of a steamer.