March 17, 2013

Mal de Debarquement Syndrome - Rare Cause of Dizziness

The BBC recently printed a story describing a rare condition called mal de debarquement which causes dizziness, typically after a boat cruise, though can occur with airplane flights and even a long drive in a car with switchbacks (going up/down a mountain).

Two signs that a patient has mal de debarquement are if they feel a rocking sensation for weeks or months starting AFTER a cruise and two, if they're much better when in motion like vigorous exercise, but feel much worse when staying still.

Read the story here.

Fortunately, there is starting to be some research into effective treatments for this condition beyond displacement type exercises (walking, running, bicycling... but NOT on a treadmill or stationary bike).

Optokinetic head roll exercises do seem to help 70% of patients within 5 days.

This condition was also in an article by the Washington Post in 2010.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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