What Are Early Symptoms of Narcolepsy?

woman with narcolepsyDoes Narcolepsy Start at Any Age?

Narcolepsy is most likely to arise in people 10 to 30 years old. However, it can arise in people outside of this age range. Your personal likelihood of developing narcolepsy is up to 40 times higher than average if you have a family member with the condition.

How Do Test for Narcolepsy?

Diagnosis begins by collecting a sleep history, which may include self-administered records of sleep-wake time, duration, and intensity. If narcolepsy is suspected, an overnight sleep study may be used. This test gathers data from a patient’s body during sleep.

One test that is more specific to narcolepsy is called multiple sleep latency. During this test, the patient is asked to take a number of naps at different times of the day. Most people who have narcolepsy will fall asleep quickly and enter REM sleep more rapidly than those without the condition.

What Triggers Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy is known to be a neurological issue that affects the brain’s ability to manage sleep and wake cycles. “Sleep attacks,” where overwhelming sleepiness occurs suddenly, cannot be predicted in these individuals.

Why Am I Falling Asleep All Day?

It’s important to remember that although excessive daytime sleepiness is the main factor in getting a narcolepsy diagnosis, others who do not have narcolepsy can also experience it. If you suspect a sleep disorder, talk to your doctor about scheduling a sleep study.

Can You Wake Someone with Narcolepsy?

While waking someone with narcolepsy does not present any health risks on its own, it may be very difficult. If you need to wake someone with narcolepsy for safety reasons, be aware that they may be confused and disoriented. Temporary episodes of paralysis or muscle weakness might also take place.

What is the Best Treatment for Narcolepsy?

Many people with narcolepsy achieve substantial relief from symptoms using stimulant medications. These increase activity in the central nervous system. Other medications, such as SSRIs, are sometimes helpful.

Do I Have Narcolepsy or Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition characterized by pauses (“apneas”) in breathing, usually brought on by blockages in the soft tissue of the airway. If you suspect sleep apnea, it’s a good idea to record the sound of your sleep. Loud snoring, gasping, and choking suggest the condition.

How Do I Know if I Have Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy’s characteristic symptom is excessive daytime sleepiness. The episodes lead to falling asleep when one does not want to, potentially in public.

Only a sleep specialist can diagnose narcolepsy. Many people do not seek treatment until it affects work, or other issues. With that in mind, you should be alert to the signs of narcolepsy and get help before issues arise.

For customized care, make an appointment today with Dr. Malhotra at Sleep & Neuroscience Associates in Greenwich, CT.

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