Narcolepsy affects up to 200,000 Americans according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. It is a neurological condition that prevents many people from living normal lives. It’s difficult for patients to conduct daily work, social, or personal activities when they’re prone to falling asleep at inopportune moments. A doctor at Pacific Sleep Program in Astoria and Portland, OR, can assist you with your case of narcolepsy.
What Is Narcolepsy?
Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder that causes patients to fall asleep throughout the day—sometimes without even knowing it. The symptoms often start in childhood and the cause of this neurological problem isn’t clear. It could be related to an issue with the immune system or a brain injury. This may be a challenging and possibly dangerous condition to manage because the patient could fall asleep while working or when driving a car.
Besides the obvious symptom of narcolepsy of excessive daytime sleepiness, there are a few other symptoms that may lead to a diagnosis of narcolepsy. Talk to your sleep doctor if you have any of these issues:
- A desire to take frequent naps throughout the day.
- Muscle weakness (cataplexy) with laughter or strong emotion.
- Sleep paralysis (inability to move or wake up)
- Seeing visions or hearing sounds as you are falling asleep or waking up (hypnagogic or hypnopompic hallucinations)
- Fragmented or poor quality sleep during the night.
- Microsleep episodes (performing automatic actions or being on "autopiilot" without being consciously aware).
Treating Patients with Narcolepsy in Astoria and Portland
Narcolepsy can be treated by a sleep specialist at the Pacific Sleep Program and requires specific testing. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate testing for you.
Possible treatment options include:
- Medication to stimulate the nervous system and make you more alert throughout the day.
- Nighttime sedative.
- Taking scheduled naps throughout the day and committing to going to bed at the same time every night.
Getting Back to Normal
A sleep doctor at Pacific Sleep Program in Astoria and Portland, OR, can help you get back to a normal routine if you struggle with narcolepsy. Call (503) 325-3126 or (503) 228-4414 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Radhika Breaden, Dr. Jennifer Kim, Debra White NP or Mariah Franclemont, PA.