Can Kayaking Cause Motion Sickness?

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: July 24, 2021
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Motion sickness is caused by the brain sensing motion in a different way than what is happening.

Kayaking can be a cause of motion sickness because it entails spinning around and going up and down from waves and can cause a feeling of dizziness or nausea in some people due to the spinning movement of a kayak.

Manifestation of motion sickness varies from person to person. Some people experience nausea, vertigo, or vomiting while some do not feel any symptoms at all.

List of reasons why motion sickness happens while kayaking

Motion sickness while kayaking is caused by the lack of input to the body that it is in motion. This is why motion sickness can be so severe when kayaking.

Motion sickness happens when your eyes and inner ear send different signals to your brain about how much you’re moving. This discrepancy can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as dizziness or lightheadedness.

The symptom of motion sickness tends to get worse with age and affects women more than men. Motion sickness is also more likely to occur if you have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes, motion sensitivity, migraines, vertigo, or pregnancy.

In the case of kayaking, it might be hard to predict whether the person will experience motion, anxiety, or discomfort.

Motion sickness is a common problem for those who get car sick or have an aversion to heights. It is the result of an abnormal neurological reflex that causes dizziness and nausea when the body is moving relative to its surroundings. Motion sickness can be triggered by many things, such as spinning in circles, being on a boat, or watching someone on TV spin around in circles. Kayaking can also cause motion sickness in some people but this does not seem to be a universal truth.

Some other symptoms of Motion Sickness

Nausea while kayaking,

Nausea is feeling sick to one’s stomach or feeling like vomiting.

The reasons for nausea while kayaking could be due to the smell of gasoline, the motion of the boat, or the salty taste of the water.

Dizziness while kayaking

When people get dizzy while kayaking, there are many reasons it can happen. Some of the reasons are that the person has not been kayaking for a while, ate too much before kayaking, is low on iron, or worked too hard.

Vomiting while kayaking

Vomiting is a natural reflex to relieve trauma to the stomach. It helps to empty the stomach of any acidic contents that could burn the esophagus or cause pain if not released. This can happen when kayaking due to nausea, motion sickness, or when the stomach is empty.

Headaches while kayaking

One of the common reasons for headaches while kayaking is low blood sugar. If you are not eating enough before you go out on the water or consuming foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, they will be used as your body’s fuel. While this is great for your short-term energy, it can lead to a headache and possibly nausea later on. Drinking plenty of water is essential to maintaining hydration and preventing headaches as well.

Blurred vision while kayaking

When kayaking near cliffs or any other type of rock in the water, the water can splash over the cliff face, and cause a blinding spray. There is also the risk of rocks in the water near the shore causing damage to your kayak and may cause you to go into panic mode.

Let’s learn about the experience from a kayaker: “I was kayaking when I started to feel a headache. The sun was really hot and it was really hard to see while kayaking. That’s when the headache came and I couldn’t see anything at all. I couldn’t see the water or the shoreline or anything that I was passing by. I couldn’t see anything at all.”

Lightheadedness while kayaking

When kayaking, the major reasons that cause lightheadedness are being dehydrated and not getting enough oxygen.

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