Many Teens with Extreme Fatigue Go Untreated

About 3% of teens in this country were found to experience extreme fatigue lasting 3 or more months not relieved by rest. This short article in US News & World Report highlights the importance of a small segment of teens who are severely debilitated. The vast majority go untreated. It’s also likely that many will sleep excessively long hours and still not feel refreshed. 

I wonder how many of these teens have an untreated sleep-breathing disorder such as obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome. It’s not too common to have teenagers’ fatigue explained by their poor sleep habits, hormonal changes, or just “being a teenager,” when in fact the source of their problem may be an undiagnosed sleep-related breathing disorder. For example, even a simple viral infection or allergy attack can enlarge lymphoid tissues in the throat, nose and tongue (palatine tonsils, adenoids and lingual tonsils), leading to more frequent partial to total obstructions and arousals. This can prevent quality deep sleep, leading to chronic, prolonged unrelenting fatigue. 

What you’ll see that that these teens will oftentimes prefer to sleep on their sides or stomachs, and have a parent that snores heavily (obstructive sleep apnea).

Do you have a teen that’s overly fatigued, no matter how long they sleep?

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