Mal de Debarquement and Other Vertigo-Causing Diseases

central vertigo, peripheral vertigo

Ever wondered what causes problems like central vertigo and peripheral vertigo? Around 40 percent of the entire adult population in the USA experiences vertigo episodes at one point in time. So, chances are, you’re one of the millions of folks who want to know more about vertigo and its potential causes. 

There’s a long list of possible explanations or underlying health conditions that may cause you to experience a vertigo episode. In our discussion below, we’ll get to discuss some of them, including Mal de Debarquement (MDD). Additionally, we’ll tackle a natural remedy that can help you manage your vertigo episodes, regardless of what caused them. 

1. Mal de Debarquement

Mal de Debarquement or MDD literally translates to “sickness of disembarkment”. The National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD) lists it as one of the rarest and most poorly understood vestibular system disorders. It commonly occurs in professional seafarers but can also affect individuals who frequently travel by plane, train, and automobile. People who use waterbeds also report symptoms of MDD. 

Studies explain that MDD tends to cause central vertigo or a type of vertigo that happens because of a central nervous problem. Additionally, studies show that it develops among healthy individuals after an extended period of passive motion, such as when traveling by sea. It causes a patient to experience a swaying, rocking or bobbing sensation that worsens while lying down or standing still.

2. BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a recurring problem that occurs because of displaced otoliths or canaliths. These dislodged calcium crystals settle in the semi-circular canals. When you try to move your head, the crystals end up shifting in the fluid, causing you to experience a spinning or swaying sensation. 

If you have BPPV, even the slightest movement, such as turning to a new position while laying down in bed, can cause you extreme discomfort. This condition can also occur along with other problems like neck pain, vomiting, lethargy, and nausea.   

3. Bilateral Vestibular Hypofunction

The vestibular organ and the eighth cranial nerves play a pivotal role in sensing the head’s balance or orientation. Unfortunately, if you have bilateral vestibular hypofunction, either one or two of these body parts suffer from malfunction.

It is a rare condition that usually doesn’t get a proper diagnosis. The latest numbers reveal that it occurs in about 28 to 81 in 100,000 adults in the US. Besides causing vertigo attacks, this condition can cause other symptoms like oscillopsia, feeling off-balanced, cognitive impairment, neck pain, depression, and anxiety. 

4. Autoimmune Ear Disease

Otherwise known as AIED, the autoimmune inner ear disorder also affects a small percent of the American population. It can trigger a long list of health issues, including trouble keeping your balance, neck pain, ear congestion, vertigo, and tinnitus. This underlying health issue happens when your body begins attacking the cells of your inner ear as they mistake them as bacteria, viruses, or other types of pathogens.  

central vertigo, peripheral vertigo

5. Vestibular Migraine

Besides BPPV, studies point to vestibular migraine as one of the most common causes of recurring vertigo attacks. As the name suggests, it’s a specific type of migraine that affects the vestibular organ, an organ in charge of perceiving motion and balance. Besides causing you to experience vertigo episodes, vestibular migraines can also trigger impaired hearing function and sensory sensitivity. 

6. CANVAS Syndrome

CANVAS is an acronym for Cerebral Ataxia, Neuropathy, and Vestibular Areflexia Syndrome. The combination of three conditions in this syndrome causes patients to lose control of their balance. Some patients diagnosed with such a disorder also report poor body coordination, dysarthria (slurred speech), chronic coughing, neck pain, and oscillopsia (blurry vision). Like Mal de Debarquement, CANVAS is also quite rarely diagnosed. In fact, it only has a prevalence ratio of 26 out of 100,000 patients

7. Meniere’s Disease

Each year, roughly 45,000 patients get diagnosed with Meniere’s, an inner ear disorder that causes peripheral vertigo. In fact, just last year, you might have heard about Jessie J sharing on social media that she also has this condition. Often, patients with Meniere’s complain about spinning sensations, ear congestion, neck pain, and tinnitus. Studies explain that it most likely occurs due to an abnormal buildup of fluid inside the tubes found in the inner ear. 

8. Post-Concussion Syndrome 

Athletes who participate in contact sports and people who suffered from a car collision can suffer from post-concussion syndrome. It’s a common complication of a concussion, with a 50 percent prevalence rate among people who suffered from a minor neck or head trauma.

According to research, a head or neck injury can cause the upper cervical bones to misalign. This, in effect, puts stress on the spinal cord and brainstem, disrupting the flow of communication signals between your body and the rest of the central nervous system. If you have post-concussion syndrome, you will likely experience persistent symptoms like fatigue, headaches, vertigo episodes, anxiety, neck pain, and ringing inside the ears.

9. Cervicogenic Dizziness

Cervicogeni dizziness (CGD) frequently occurs with neck pain. Studies often associate the two health problems with the disturbed sensory nerve fibers found along the neck. The affected nerve endings likely lead to signal mismatch or miscommunication of the tissues and the brain, causing you to experience false motion. Similar to post-concussion syndrome, CGD most likely arises from a spinal misalignment, specifically along the neck area.


A Natural Periperhal or Central Vertigo Remedy 

Have you noticed a similar pattern in all of the conditions discussed above? Careful inspection of these underlying health problems would reveal to you that they all have neck pain as an accompanying symptom. This is most likely because all nine disorders often stem from an upper cervical misalignment. As a result, seeking upper cervical care is a logical and practical natural remedy that you can try to cope with your vertigo attacks. 

Have you been frequently dealing with peripheral or central vertigo attacks? Try consulting with a nearby upper cervical doctor. Most likely, a spinal misalignment is the main culprit behind your spinning sensation problem.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.