Symptoms of MdDS

Persistent sensation of motion and imbalance such as:

  • Rocking
  • Bobbing
  • Swaying
  • Staggering gait
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disequilibrium

Symptoms Not Typically Associated with MdDS

  • Rotational or spinning vertigo
  • Double vision
  • Bouncing vision
  • Nystagmus
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing loss

Symptoms Less Frequently Reported

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Migraine headaches
  • Intolerance of busy patterns
  • Loss of self-confidence
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Ear pain and/or fullness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Symptom Severity Scale

1 - 2

Sensation of rocking/bobbing/swaying is almost imperceptible. Most often noticed while walking but may also be recognized while sitting, standing or lying down. Can usually perform routine daily functions without the need for rest periods.

3 - 4

Rocking/bobbing/swaying sensation is almost constant but can function fairly well with occasional rest periods. The sensation of rocking/bobbing/swaying may include the perception of movement along either a horizontal or vertical axis. The floor seems to move when walking (as if walking on a suspension bridge, water bed, or trampoline). Altered balance. Cannot remain standing in a fixed position with eyes closed.

5 - 6

Rocking/bobbing/swaying intensity is increased. Accompanied by difficulty in concentration and/or mental confusion (impaired cognitive function). Most routine tasks become difficult to accomplish. Require periods of rest. May stumble when walking.

7 - 8

Rocking/bobbing/swaying is more severe and noticeable while walking, standing, or sitting. Associated with considerable fatigue. Increased loss of concentration and/or mental confusion. Balance is affected (bump into objects when walking; clumsy in handling objects; may drop things).

9 - 10

Rocking/bobbing/swaying is extremely severe. Balance is very poor. Require support for walking and standing (have to hold onto walls). Significant mental confusion. Impaired ability to speak. Remain in bed most of the day.

Sensation of rocking/bobbing/swaying is almost imperceptible. Most often noticed while walking but may also be recognized while sitting, standing or lying down. Can usually perform routine daily functions without the need for rest periods.

Rocking/bobbing/swaying sensation is almost constant but can function fairly well with occasional rest periods. The sensation of rocking/bobbing/swaying may include the perception of movement along either a horizontal or vertical axis. The floor seems to move when walking (as if walking on a suspension bridge, water bed, or trampoline). Altered balance. Cannot remain standing in a fixed position with eyes closed.

Rocking/bobbing/swaying intensity is increased. Accompanied by difficulty in concentration and/or mental confusion (impaired cognitive function). Most routine tasks become difficult to accomplish. Require periods of rest. May stumble when walking.

Rocking/bobbing/swaying is more severe and noticeable while walking, standing, or sitting. Associated with considerable fatigue. Increased loss of concentration and/or mental confusion. Balance is affected (bump into objects when walking; clumsy in handling objects; may drop things).

Rocking/bobbing/swaying is extremely severe. Balance is very poor. Require support for walking and standing (have to hold onto walls). Significant mental confusion. Impaired ability to speak. Remain in bed most of the day.

Symptoms Increased By:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Working at a computer for extended intervals
  • Stairwells or long hallways
  • Rapidly changing stimuli, (e.g. flipping through pages or images, rapid scrolling)
  • Supermarket aisles
  • Busy carpet patterns
  • Changes in barometric pressure (weather)
  • Allergy symptoms
  • The end of the day

Symptoms Alleviated By:

  • Travel (e.g., movement/motion in a car or airplane)
  • Establishing a vigorous exercise program

Learn about coping with MdDS

The sensation of motion is often associated with fatigue, imbalance, and impaired cognition. Symptoms can vary in intensity from day to day and even throughout the day. Many times, the reason for these changes cannot be clearly identified. In some patients, repeated bouts of MdDS occur over many years and are usually associated with another precipitating event, e.g., cruise, boat, or air travel.

Many patients often have greater awareness and more intense symptoms in the initial phase of this syndrome; subsequently, there is usually a transition into symptoms of sustained MdDS.

Temporary remissions may occur as brief intervals (e.g., for hours, days, or weeks). As a given course of MdDS progresses toward sustained remission, symptoms may become less severe and temporary remissions more frequent.