So I got seasick today.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 54 Old 09-16-2016 Thread Starter
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So I got seasick today....

So, I went out on friends Catalina 30 today on Lake Michigan. The forecast was for mild 10-15 knot winds and 2-4 foot waves. Well, it turned into 25 gusting to 32 with 4-7' waves with the occasional 10'er. We were on a beat to windward all day, and for the first time in 30 years I got really sick briefly. My question is does age increase ones susceptibility getting seasick? I am 51 btw. Otherwise, it was a great sail.


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post #2 of 54 Old 09-16-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

I've never been seasick, car sick, air sick in my 64 years so far. How old are you? I doubt it has anything to do with age.

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post #3 of 54 Old 09-16-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Of course it has something to do with age!

Why do old people fall over?

Alcohol in the nursing home? No!

I am amazed so few sailors have one iota of knowledge about seasickness except some drug they can shove down their throats.
Google them.

For someone who has never been seasick there are also some other age related things you probably won't find on Google.
30 years ago you were fit. Now you are probably on some medication... perhaps a statin. The side effects of these powerful drugs can be quite serious for elderly people.
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post #4 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

I get seasick less often now. Age 69.

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post #5 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

I've wondered the same thing. At 67 I seem to get seasick (about once a year) where I never did before. I would like to find some research that addresses this question.
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Re: So I got seasick today....

Age alone is related to suceptability for sea sickness. But it happens to most people from time to time.

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post #7 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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I'm pretty good with seasickness, but I have been seasick many times, I sailed commercially for 20 years and I have observed all kinds of factors contribute. The worst factor for me is fatigue. If I've been up for a couple or 3 days with little to no sleep fighting adverse weather, I find seasickness eventually will work it's way just like mosquitoes, given time will find a crack to get into.

I have also observed pregnant women are highly susceptible, older people can be more susceptible. Hung over people are easy targets. Fear and uncertainty can be major contributing factors.

Sea state is a big factor too. The conditions you describe sound pretty bad for a small boat. Maybe age was one of several factors?

My worst seasickness was a long Search and Rescue operation I participated in. We were a small crew on an aluminum vessel on Lake Huron searching for a 12 year old boy who was blown offshore in a 12' boat with only a swim suit on.

I was very tired, I was cold, I definitely felt some anxiety about the boys welfare. The sea state was not bad, maybe a meter, but you couldn't see them coming in the dark. Also I was using night vision goggles, which always give me a headache.

On the second night of this, I felt so rotten I asked the permission of the Captain to go below for a nap, which he agreed to. I slept for a few hours and felt much much better.

The boy was found safe and sound, although very cold and uncomfortable.

I think it's good you are analyzing causation, it will help you to combat it in the future.

Another bad one was on a chemical tanker in the northern Atlantic, battling what would have been a survival storm for a yacht. Our ship was Hove too and taking it very well, I had ample sleep. It lasted a few days, again, I think a big factor was anxiety. Even Hove too big waves were crashing over the focsal, sweeping the full length of about 300 ft of deck and slamming into the base of the accommodations with rather frightening effect. In that storm I think the only major factor was fear, which in hind sight was probably unwarranted, but felt very real at the time.
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Re: So I got seasick today....

I don't know if age directly makes you more susceptible, but it may cause other changes that do. For example, do you wear glasses or contacts? Have you changed prescriptions or moved to multi-focal lenses?

I mostly do not get sea sickness. But I am very susceptible to "simulator/video game sickness", which is entirely a visual thing (false visual motion cues that don't match felt motion.) I've recently started getting mild air sickness on long flights. I suspect it's due to switching from straight (prescription) reading glasses to progressive lenses.

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Re: So I got seasick today....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scotty C-M View Post
I've wondered the same thing. At 67 I seem to get seasick (about once a year) where I never did before. I would like to find some research that addresses this question.
FWIW - Adult-onset motion sickness rare -- but can happen - The Body Odd
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post #10 of 54 Old 09-17-2016
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Re: So I got seasick today....

It also has to do with the condition of your ears and semi circular canals... You will slowly imperceptibly loose your sense of balance as you age and this can assist in bringing on mal du mer. Those conditions would probably make a lot of people seasick.
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