How is Narcolepsy Treated?
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder characterized by excessive sleepiness during the day, with different causes and can result in several symptoms such as sudden attacks of intense, uncontrollable sleep. The impact of this disorder in the life of a person is considerable, and although there is no cure, there are ways to treat your symptoms. On OneHowTo.com, we tell you how narcolepsy is treated.
Although we mentioned that narcolepsy has no cure, its symptoms can be treated so you can lead a life as normal as possible. Ultimately, treatment aims to allow the patient to undergo their daily activities with minimum impact.
The treatment of narcolepsy should always be personal and individual, i.e., taking into account the characteristics of the patient. And every person will reflect a more or less frequent and/or severe symptomatology.
In many cases, if the patient has naps throughout the day, daily functioning may not be so disabling. But if this is not enough, drugs are often used to treat the most disabling symptom, which may be sleepiness, cataplexy or both. To treat sleepiness, patients are usually given agents which stimulate the central nervous system, which have to be taken before lunchtime, and never after so they don't affect sleep.
Patients may also need medicine to help them fall asleep, in the cases when taking stimulants affects the patient's sleeping hours. To treat cataplexy, antidepressant medications are commonly used.
Treatment is completed with a series of habits or routines to control sleep. Some of these routines are going to sleep and waking up every day at the same time and avoiding habits that hinder sleep such as eating late, sucha as carrying out very stimulating activities up to 3 hours before bedtime. It is important, as long as it's possible, to take small naps throughout the day and do some physical activity regularly. It is also advisable to create a good and quiet environment in the bedroom so the patient can fall asleep, having total darkness and avoiding lights from TVs and computers.
It is also advisable for narcoleptic people to avoid certain food such as stimulants such as chocolate, caffeine,alcohol or cigarrettes during the previous hours before going to bed.
There are several alternative therapies that can help patients follow a sleep schedule more effectively. There are also special support groups that can help narcoleptic people deal with their illness and have a higher sense of security and feel understood. Patients can contact a specialist or find a support group around the area where he/she is living.
Narcolepsy is a disorder that can lead to serious problems in daily life, work, studies and especially social relations. You can have an accident by sudden sleep attacks and seriously jeopardize your life and that of others. It is important to avoid activities or routines that may involve a serious risk if you suffer from narcolepsy crisis. It is also vitally important to talk to friends, relations and other people they deal with on a daily basis, so they can help when the patient needs it.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- Visit your doctor if you suspect you suffer from narcolepsy, he/she will give you an appropriate treatment for you.