Narcolepsy 2

Monday, July 07, 2014

People with narcolepsy fall asleep without warning, anywhere, anytime. For example, you may suddenly nod off while working or talking with friends. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Narcolepsy is a chronic sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime drowsiness and sudden attacks of sleep.

People with narcolepsy often find it difficult to stay awake for long periods of time, regardless of the circumstances. Narcolepsy can cause serious disruptions in your daily routine.

The symptoms of narcolepsy may include:

Excessive daytime sleepiness.

Sleep paralysis.

Hallucinations.

A sudden loss of muscle tone, called cataplexy. This condition can cause a number of physical changes, from slurred speech to complete weakness of most muscles, and may last for a few seconds to a few minutes. Cataplexy is uncontrollable and is triggered by intense emotions, usually positive ones such as laughter or excitement, but sometimes fear, surprise or anger.

Some people with narcolepsy experience only one or two episodes of cataplexy a year, while others have numerous episodes daily.

See your doctor if you experience excessive daytime sleepiness that disrupts your life.

There is no cure for narcolepsy, but medications and lifestyle modifications can help you manage the symptoms.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.