Narcolepsy - Selfcare
Learning as much about narcolepsy as possible and finding a support system can help patients and families deal with the practical and emotional effects of the disease, possible occupational limitations, and situations that might cause injury.
A variety of educational and other materials are available from sleep medicine or narcolepsy organizations. Support groups exist to help persons with narcolepsy and their families.
When to seek medical advice?A person who experiences excessive daytime sleepiness which seriously disturbs personal or professional life has to meet the specialist immediately
Individuals with narcolepsy, their families, friends, and potential employers should know that:
- Although there is not a cure for narcolepsy at present, several medications can help to reduce narcolepsy symptoms.
- People with narcolepsy can lead productive lives if they are provided with proper medical care.
- Narcolepsy is a life-long condition that requires continuous medication.
- Parents, teachers, spouses, and employers should be aware of the symptoms of narcolepsy. This will help them avoid the mistake of confusing the person's behavior with laziness, hostility, rejection, or lack of interest and motivation. It will also help them provide essential support and cooperation.
- Employers can promote better working opportunities for individuals with narcolepsy by permitting special work schedules and nap breaks.
- If possible, individuals with narcolepsy should avoid jobs that require driving long distances or handling hazardous equipment or that require alertness for lengthy periods.
Living with Narcolepsy:
Narcolepsy is a lifelong condition. Although there is no complete treatment for this condition, symptoms often improve with ongoing treatment. Most people with narcolepsy can live near-normal lives.
- At Work place: People with narcolepsy can work in almost all types of jobs. If people with narcolepsy have a flexible work schedule, they can take naps when needed and they can interact with other coworkers. People with narcolepsy should be allowed to take short naps during the work day. They should be allowed for adjusting work schedules around sleepy periods.
- Pregnant Women: If a pregnant woman is having narcolepsy, they should consult the doctor about the effect of narcolepsy medicine on the baby before and after delivery.
- Driving: Driving can be dangerous for people who are suffering with narcolepsy. You need to take special care to help prevent accidents. You should consult the doctor before you start driving. Take naps before driving, avoid long drives, or stop regularly during a long drive, and plan to drive when you are least likely to have a sleep attack or other narcolepsy symptom that could be dangerous while driving.
- School-Aged Children: Narcolepsy symptoms can affect children’s ability to study, focus, and remember. Children with narcolepsy are sometimes wrongly thought to have a learning disability or a seizure disorder (epilepsy). When exhausted, some children with narcolepsy tend to speed up their activities, rather than slow down. These children can be wrongly labeled as hyperactive. It is better to inform to the teachers and school administrators about the child’s narcolepsy.