Guide to Narcolepsy in Children

Narcolepsy is a condition often diagnosed during childhood. It is important to identify the signs of narcolepsy in your child so that you can get them the crucial care they need to stay healthy as they grow up. Today, experts from your local New York center for sleep health will take you through this short guide to narcolepsy in children. The following information will help you familiarize yourself with the signs of narcolepsy while learning about the best type of care your child needs.

Guide to Narcolepsy in Children

What Is Narcolepsy?

Narcolepsy describes a condition that makes it difficult for your child to have a regular sleep schedule. Due to an imbalance in the brain, your child will have disrupted patterns of sleeping, making it difficult to stay awake during normal daytime hours. Your child may end up falling asleep during the day, unable to control when their body is awake or tired.

It is a good idea to ask your child if they have had trouble sleeping. Constant fatigue and exhaustion are sure signs that they are dealing with a sleep disorder. This condition is usually recognizable early on, which is why it is often diagnosed in childhood.

How to Identify Narcolepsy in Your Child

Your child might display different symptoms depending on the type of narcolepsy they have. About 20 in 50 children can suffer from narcolepsy, so it is important to know about the commonality of this condition. There are two major types of narcolepsy that are prevalent in children:

Type 1 Narcolepsy

If your child is extremely sleepy throughout the day and becomes very weak, they are likely dealing with this narcolepsy type. Narcolepsy Type 1 is also characterized by low levels of the chemical hypocretin, which the brain uses to keep itself awake. Weight gain is also a possible side effect of Narcolepsy Type 1.

Type 2 Narcolepsy

Type 2 narcolepsy occurs when your child is tired throughout the day but does not show any extra symptoms. ALso, type 2 is typically less sever than Type 1 due to the fact that Type 1 Narcolepsy also inhibits hypocretin production and can cause bodily weakness. Daytime drowsiness is the biggest and most pressing symptom to manage when it comes to Narcolepsy Type 2.

Watch Out for These Responsive Symptoms

Narcolepsy can cause a series of additional symptoms and conditions to occur in your child throughout the day. They may deal with daily brain fog, often forgetting what activities they just participated in. Your child might also fall asleep for a few seconds while doing an activity. Losing focus and struggling to concentrate can also be signs that your child is struggling to manage the symptoms of narcolepsy.

In more severe cases, narcolepsy can also cause hallucinations, sleep paralysis, and sudden weight fluctuation. If your child is struggling to stay on top of their sleep health, it is important to get them the help they need right away. These symptoms can only grow more severe over time and it will continue to have negative repercussions on your child’s ability to maintain a healthy sleep-wake schedule.

Get Next-Level Narcolepsy Care Today

Sleep MD NYC specializes in children’s respiratory care, helping to treat chronic conditions like Narcolepsy Type 1 or Type 2. Your child may need individualized narcolepsy treatment involving medication and sleeping aids to get back on track with their regular bodily functions. Narcolepsy can be a lifelong condition, but with the right type of care, your child can live a normal life uninterrupted by the symptoms as they come and go. Get in touch with Dr. Mayank Shukla today to set up an appointment for your loved one.

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