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What is MDDS? And How Is It Treated?

While MDDS is a frustrating condition, we can help you find lasting symptom relief with the right resources and treatments.

Shake The Sea Legs: Treating Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MDDS)

Whether you’re a cruise ship fanatic or a lake-life junkie, the feeling of sea legs is likely not foreign to you. When you’re walking on water, your brain and body have to adapt to the fluid motion to prevent you from toppling over at the slightest wave. Once you’re landlocked again, it usually doesn’t take too long to feel like you’re back on solid ground. In some cases, that feeling of sea legs is a little harder to shake. This is known as Mal de Debarquement Syndrome, which means “sickness of disembarkment.”

Understanding Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

Mal de Debarquement Syndrome (MDDS) makes you feel like you’re rocking, even when you’re not. This can be a very frustrating experience, especially when you’re anticipating the sensation to dissipate. As bizarre of an experience as MDDS may seem, it is widely recognized and can be treated relatively quickly with the right resources.

What Causes MDDS?

The causes of MDDS are lesser known than some of the other conditions we treat at McWhorter CNR. Anyone can experience symptoms of MDDS, but it is most common in women ages 30 to 60. Specialists are unclear on whether or not hormones play a role in this specific subset of sufferers.

Additionally, those who suffer from motion sickness or migraines are also more inclined to suffer from this condition and have difficulty shaking the feeling of their sea legs. Specialists struggle to understand the correlation between these various disorders.

What Are The Symptoms Of Mal de Debarquement Syndrome?

The most common symptom of MDDS is a feeling of rocking or swaying with no physical reason. Some patients experience unsteadiness or trouble balancing. Other symptoms include feelings of anxiety, confusion, and depression.

Interestingly enough, when you are moving, your symptoms can subside a bit. However, these symptoms can get worse with:

  • Rapid moving
  • Flickering lights
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Falling asleep
  • Watching television or playing video games

It’s most common to experience these symptoms after being out on water, but any kind of motion can cause this condition to kick in. It is a relatively rare condition, so there is limited research to clarify our understandings on the causes of MDDS.

How Can MDDS Be Treated?

The specific symptoms of MDDS are relatively similar to a number of other conditions. Your doctor will first rule out the potential of a vestibular issue with some non-invasive tests before determining a diagnosis and mapping out a course of treatment.

The most troublesome part of MDDS is that no single course of treatment works every time for patients. Some respond best to brain stimulation, such as Neurofeedback, while others respond better to vestibular rehabilitation like Gyrostim.

Dr. Jeff McWhorter is one of only two practitioners in the country who has been successful in the treatment of this rare disorder. Having an open line of communication between you and your doctor will be essential to overcoming your symptoms.

Regain Your Steadiness With MDDS Treatment in Denver

McWhorter CNR offers a wide variety of treatment applications that target everything from the psyche to the physical body. With a complicated condition like MDDS, you’ll want to have everything you could possibly need within reach. That’s what we offer at McWhorter CNR.

If you’re struggling with symptoms of MDDS, contact our team of vestibular and brain specialists today to set up a consultation.

Contact Us

(720) 717-4748
7000 S Yosemite St Suite 260
Centennial, CO 80112

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