Wydawnictwo Medyczne Mediton

Under the scientific patronage of

the Polish Society of Audiology and Phoniatrics


Original articles

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Mal de débarquement
Grażyna Tacikowska 1/, Maciej Rzeski 1/
  • 1/ Instytut Fizjologii i Patologii Słuchu, Warszawa

Introduction. Mal de Debarquement (MdD) is a rare balance disorder which appears after prolonged journey by boat, plane,
rarely by car or train. MdD patients do not report spinning sensation.
Aim. The analysis of MdD clinical manifestations, taking into account the factors causing the symptoms and spectrum of
associated signs.
Materials and methods. A retrospective analysis of 27 episodes of the disease in 13 patients: 11 women and 2 men, aged from 26 to 57 years (mean age: 39.5 years) treated at the Institute of Physiology and Pathology of Hearing in 2007-2010.
The inclusion criteria comprised balance disorders experienced for at least 1 month following exposure to motion for at least
4 hours.
Results. Duration of symptoms of MdD was from 4 months to 6 years. The most common cause of the onset of symptoms was air travel (13 cases), travel by boat (5 episodes) and many hours driving (5 episodes); and in single cases – diving, skydiving, riding a train. Clinical manifestations common to all patients were a constant feeling of waves, rocking or tilting, especially at rest. Correct diagnosis and the administration of antidepressants or anxiolytics as well as physiotherapy and psychological therapy reduced or overcame the symptoms.
Conclusions. MdD should be considered in all cases of chronic, nonspecific dizziness associated with prolonged motion exposure. The prophylaxis in the form of anxiolytics taken before the planned trip and during its course can reduce symptoms or prevent the onset of the disease.

Otorynolaryngologia Vol 13. No 4. Decemberpages: from 219to 223
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