Not many give sleeping problems the importance they deserve. Whether it is the simple and inconspicuous snoring disturbing bedroom peace or something that sounds more complex and serious like primary and idiopathic hypersomnolence, callousness regarding taking remedial action applies to all. If only we knew beforehand how untreated sleep disorders can turn ruinous, uprooting every part of one’s life in every possible way.
Ignorance about sleep disorders spreads to other areas as well. How many of us know why these conditions affect us, what the tell-tale symptoms are, or most importantly, what treatments are available to reverse the sitiuation? As if this was not all, because of the presence of several overlapping signs, many such sleep disorders get misdiagnosed.
At times people find some names of such disorders too cumbersome to remember. But understanding a specific disorder is not that difficult if one gets a grasp of its various facets including manifestations and causes.
What is the ‘rare disease’ all about?
Termed as a ‘rare disease’ by the Office of Rare Diseases (ORD) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) affecting only 5% of the US population, hypersomnolence is the medical expression of excessive daytime sleepiness and the name of the disorder is primary hypersomnia. It could strike between 15 and 30 and chances are that it could remain a life-long condition.
How can you know about the onset of this disorder?
Some of the typical features that hold clues to the condition include:
– Excessive daytime sleepiness. The patient falls asleep anytime anywhere.
– Though the patient takes frequent daytime naps, they still leave him or her sleepy all the time.
– Feels disoriented and confused on waking up.
– Slow speech, impaired reflexes, low appetite
What about the management of this condition?
Counseling of family and friends, self help, lifestyle modifications and use of prescription drugs form the total therapy package.
Counseling of all those who deal with the patient are important as this helps the patient to come to better terms with his or her condition.
Drugs primarily aim to reduce daytime sleepiness and enhance alertness. These include Modafinil, sodium oxybate, amphetamine, methamphetamine, dextroamphetamine, methylphenidate, and selegiline, Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
How the condition differs from other sleep disorders
Despite the confusion created by overlapping features, certain subtle differentiators help doctors to identify the disorders:
– Reduced level of hypocretin is one of the identified narcolepsy causes; does this factor trigger any other sleep disorder?
– Daytime naps are common but they may be rejuvenating for some illnesses and non-refreshing for others.
– sleep apnea usually sets in when the patient is around 50; other sleep disorders usually set in earlier.
– What is the prime dysfunctional area that is resulting in the manifestations? Dysfunctional brain is behind developing signs of apnea; but problems with the central nervous system causes another type of sleep problem.
In order to get diagnosed and treated properly, one needs to know the exact type of disorder that he or she is suffering from. In this regard, the age of onset as well as the primary cause behind primary and idiopathic hypersomnolence could be the two main differentiating factors.
Know more about excessive sleepiness during the day. Visit Marc MacDonald’s site where you can get important facts on Primary Idiopathic Hypersomnia and how you can properly handle this sleep disorder.