What Is Narcolepsy?
Wed, 1/02/2013 1:13 PM
Narcolepsy is a neurological sleep disorder that causes a potentially disabling level of daytime sleepiness. This sleepiness may occur in the form of repeated and irresistible “sleep attacks.” In these episodes a person suddenly falls asleep in unusual situations, such as while eating, walking or driving. Narcolepsy affects less than one percent of men and women, typically appearing in teens and young adults and then persisting for a lifetime.
Sleepiness in narcolepsy is not the result of inadequate sleep; people with narcolepsy still experience daytime sleepiness even when they sleep well at night. Sleepiness is more likely to occur in boring, monotonous situations that require no active participation (such as watching television). If not recognized and appropriately managed, narcolepsy can drastically and negatively affect the quality of a person’s life.
Symptoms of Narcolepsy
The main symptoms associated with narcolepsy are:
Narcolepsy cannot be cured. Symptoms can usually be controlled or improved so that sufferers experience symptoms less frequently and lead fairly normal lives. Treatment plans have several aspects: medication, behavior treatment, and management of your environment.
If you believe you may have narcolepsy, inform your primary care physician or make an appointment for an evaluation with a Sleep Specialist at the Sleep Disorders Center. To find a physician in Memphis or Olive Branch that specializes in sleep disorders, please call 901.683.0044.
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