Signs of MdDS

  • People with MdDS feel a rocking or swaying sensation. It is different from vertigo which causes spinning.
  • It is typically triggered by passive motion: cars, trains, airplanes, ships, boats, and even fast elevators. Virtual reality, water beds and even swimming may cause it. Some suffer with no associated motion event.
  • What makes MdDS truly different, is that symptoms often disappear when in passive motion, e.g.: driving or riding in a car.

MdDS requires no diagnostic tests.

The answer to two questions determines the diagnosis:

  1. Did you recently ride on a ship, boat, train or other transportation?
  2. Do you still feel like you are rocking and swaying and the only time it stops is when you get back in a car, or boat or train?

Diagnostic Criteria & ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code

Diagnostic Criteria Consensus document of the Classification Committee of the Bárány Society (PDF)

ICD Code: Dizziness and giddiness, R42. Included under syndromes.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • a persistent sensation of rocking, swaying, and/or bobbing
  • difficulty maintaining balance
  • impaired cognitive function
  • anxiety and/or depression
  • fatigue
  • headache (including migraine)
  • Symptom intensity is highly variable among patients and may be quite disabling.
  • Patients are usually relieved when in motion, e.g., riding in a car.

Treatment Challenges:

  • Anticholinergic medications such as meclizine or scopolamine are not effective in either treatment or prevention of MdDS.
  • Treatments are trial and error. There is evidence that benzodiazepines or SSNI/SSRIs may have beneficial effects but they rarely stop the disorder completely.
  • There are many people walking around suffering from this condition who don’t know MdDS is the cause. They are undiagnosed.
  • The average person with this condition sees a dozen doctors and has many tests without diagnostic findings.
  • MdDS may persist for months to years.
  • The cause of MdDS remains unknown.
On “dizziness”: While patients may complain of dizziness after air/land/water-based travel or even “spontaneously,” they don’t mean dizzy per se. For lack of a better word they mean to say, they feel as if they are on a boat.

Download our MdDS at-a-glance quick reference card or informative brochure (PDF). Complimentary printed copies are available by contacting us.

Diagnosing MdDS MdDS Foundation 4:44 pm