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Seasick from Swimming for beginners

Seasick from Swimming for beginners
Seasick from Swimming for beginners

Seasick from Swimming for beginners

Swimming in the open sea or even in a pool can be an enjoyable and refreshing experience. However, some individuals may find themselves feeling seasick or experiencing a sensation similar to motion sickness while swimming. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this phenomenon, its symptoms, and offer valuable tips on how to manage and prevent seasickness while swimming.

Aquatic Motion Sickness: A Surprising Challenge

Aquatic motion sickness, often referred to as seasickness while swimming, can catch swimmers off guard. To understand why it occurs, we need to delve into the underlying factors.

Seasick from Swimming for beginners
Seasick from Swimming for beginners

Causes of Aquatic Motion Sickness

1. Sensory Confusion

Similar to seasickness on a boat, aquatic motion sickness is caused by sensory confusion. When you swim, your inner ear senses motion as you move through the water. However, your visual perception of your surroundings often remains constant, leading to a mismatch of sensory signals.

Seasick from Swimming for beginners
Seasick from Swimming for beginners

2. Vestibular System Adaptation

Your vestibular system, responsible for maintaining balance, can take some time to adapt to the motion of swimming. Until it does, you may experience sensations of dizziness or discomfort.

3. Environmental Factors

The conditions in which you swim can play a role. Choppy waters, strong currents, or sudden changes in water depth can exacerbate the sensation of motion.

Seasick from Swimming for beginners
Seasick from Swimming for beginners

Symptoms of Aquatic Motion Sickness

1. Nausea

Nausea is a common symptom of aquatic motion sickness, often accompanied by a general feeling of unease.

2. Dizziness

Sensations of dizziness or vertigo can make swimming uncomfortable and disorienting.

Seasick from Swimming for beginners
Seasick from Swimming for beginners

3. Fatigue

The effort to swim while experiencing motion sickness can lead to increased fatigue.

Managing and Preventing Aquatic Motion Sickness

1. Gradual Acclimatization

If you’re new to swimming in open water, consider gradual acclimatization. Start with calm, shallow areas and progressively work your way to more challenging conditions.

2. Focus on the Horizon

Similar to managing seasickness on a boat, focusing on a fixed point in the distance can help reduce the sensory mismatch. Try to keep your eyes on the horizon or a stationary object.

3. Controlled Breathing

Deep, controlled breathing can help alleviate nausea and promote relaxation while swimming. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth.

4. Swim with a Buddy

Swimming with a friend can provide comfort and support in case you experience motion sickness symptoms. They can offer assistance if needed.

5. Medications

In severe cases, you can consider over-the-counter medications like anti-nausea or antiemetic drugs. Consult with a healthcare professional before using any medication.


Experiencing seasickness while swimming can be disconcerting, but with the right strategies and techniques, you can manage and even prevent it. Remember that everyone’s tolerance for aquatic motion varies, so it’s essential to pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your swimming activities accordingly.

By taking steps to acclimate yourself to aquatic motion, focusing on your surroundings, and employing relaxation techniques, you can continue to enjoy the pleasures of swimming without the discomfort of motion sickness.


1. Can children experience aquatic motion sickness while swimming?

Yes, children can experience aquatic motion sickness, especially if they are new to swimming in open water. Parents should be mindful of their children’s comfort and safety while swimming.

2. Are there any long-term effects of frequent aquatic motion sickness?

There are generally no long-term effects associated with experiencing occasional aquatic motion sickness. However, persistent symptoms or underlying medical conditions should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.

3. Can swimming in a pool cause motion sickness?

While it is less common, swimming in a pool can also trigger motion sickness-like symptoms, especially if the pool water is moving due to currents or if you are performing specific activities that induce sensations of motion.

4. Can scuba diving cause motion sickness underwater?

Scuba diving, with its unique underwater environment, can induce motion sickness-like symptoms in some individuals. Proper training and acclimatization to diving conditions can help reduce the likelihood of such symptoms.

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