Narcolepsy isn't always easy to recognize1,2Getting help can take a long time:
- It can take more than 10 years to get the right diagnosis.1
- An estimated 50% of people with narcolepsy may not be diagnosed yet.3
- Narcolepsy can be misdiagnosed as depression, insomnia, or sleep apnea.3,4
That's why it's important to recognize the symptoms.
This guide is intended to help you and a sleep specialist have a more informed discussion about narcolepsy and its symptoms. Bring this to your visit to help you get all the information you need.
The 5 major symptoms of narcolepsyBelow are 5 major symptoms of narcolepsy that you should be aware of.5 Ask a sleep specialist for information about these symptoms.
You don’t need to have all of these symptoms to be diagnosed with narcolepsy. Likewise, having any of these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have narcolepsy. A diagnosis of narcolepsy should be made by a sleep specialist, who will review your symptoms and conduct appropriate in-lab diagnostic sleep tests.6
Take the Symptom Screener and share your scores with a sleep specialistThese tools can help you and a sleep specialist assess some of the symptoms of narcolepsy:
- The Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) helps to screen for EDS.10,11
- The Swiss Narcolepsy Scale (SNS) helps to screen for narcolepsy with cataplexy.12,13
Questions to ask a
- What causes narcolepsy and its symptoms?
- What do my ESS and SNS scores mean?
- What type of sleep tests help diagnose narcolepsy?
- Do I need an overnight in-lab test? How about a daytime test?
- How do narcolepsy symptoms differ among different people?
- What is the difference between narcolepsy type 1 and type 2?
- How does cataplexy differ among different people?
- What else do I need to know about narcolepsy?
Ask a sleep specialist any other questions you may have
The above are just a few key questions to discuss with a sleep specialist. You may have other questions or concerns that you want to address at your visit. Be sure to write down all the questions, concerns, or expectations you have and share them at your visit.
Learning as much as you can about narcolepsy, your symptoms, and your options will help you make more informed decisions with your healthcare team.
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