What You Should Know About Narcolepsy

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Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder with chronic implications for your body. If your central nervous system is not working correctly, you may experience narcolepsy in addition to a variety of other symptoms. This condition is misunderstood, which means many people who would benefit from a diagnosis do not realize it.

While many people have seen narcolepsy played as a joke, it is important to understand that it is anything but. This condition can be incredibly difficult to deal with if you do not seek treatment. Here's what you need to know to get the help you deserve.

Narcolepsy Symptoms Can Be Confusing

The most common symptom of narcolepsy is sleepiness at inappropriate times, including while at work or driving. Even after getting a full night of sleep, you may experience uncontrollable sleepiness with no warning.

Diagnosis May Require Several Steps

Your doctor's appointment will likely also include a physical exam, which will involve an assessment of your health history and the history of others in your family. Your doctor will want to rule out any other potential health issues related to sleep and your nervous system.

One of the additional steps involved in diagnosing narcolepsy may be a sleep study. Your doctor may recommend that you go through a sleep study so they can look for changes in your brain wave activity as well as your eye movements and oxygen levels.

Treatment for Narcolepsy Is Available

Medication is the most common treatment available for narcolepsy. Often, the first medication your doctor will describe is a stimulant. These medications are used to help your body stay awake. Stimulants are typically safe and offer few side effects for many patients.

In some cases, doctors prescribe antidepressants. While these medications may have side effects, these medications can be extremely helpful when narcolepsy is diagnosed alongside other conditions.

Your doctor may recommend that you stop taking some medications, including those for colds and allergies. A lifestyle assessment will also provide more information about the steps involved in helping you avoid the symptoms of narcolepsy.

Talk to Your Doctor About Narcolepsy

A diagnosis of narcolepsy can help you learn more about this condition. If you suspect that you may have this condition, you must make an appointment with your doctor right away. Getting treatment for narcolepsy can help you live a life that is fulfilling and without daily symptoms. 

Visit a local doctor for more information.