Sleep Apnea Symptoms Corrected by ENT Procedure | Otolaryngology (ENT), Otolaryngology (ENT) | Loyola Medicine
Thursday, December 14, 2017

Sleep Apnea Symptoms Corrected by ENT Procedure

MAYWOOD, IL – For Jason Johnson, nights were anything but restful. The 16-year-old high school student would often wake up with difficulty breathing. 

"I would wake up in the middle of the night really congested," Jason said. "It was hard to breathe."

Loyola Medicine otolaryngologist Paul Jones, MD, diagnosed Jason with sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted. It is usually caused by something blocking the airway.

While sleep apnea can occur at any age, it is less common in teenagers. Sleep apnea is usually discovered in school age children ages 3 to 6 and in older adults.

For parents whose children are restless sleepers, Dr. Jones recommends looking for related symptoms such as snoring, gasping or choking for breath, heavy breathing while awake, excessive sleepiness during the day and bedwetting. Children with sleep apnea may have trouble waking up in the morning and struggle in school.

While enlarged tonsils and adenoids are a common cause of obstructive sleep apnea, Jason had previously had them removed. So Dr. Jones performed a diagnostic sleep endoscopy, during which a fiber optic endoscope is passed through the nasal cavity to accurately diagnose the airway obstruction. The procedure revealed Jason had obstructive tissue in the upper larynx, which was removed in a surgery known as supraglottoplasty.

"We clipped those little cartilages and he's done great since," Dr. Jones said.

Jason said the surgery was life-changing. "I'm not waking up in the middle of the night," he said. "I'm able to finish all of my homework without falling asleep."

Loyola Medicine is nationally recognized for its expertise in diagnosing and treating a broad range of ear, nose and throat (ENT) conditions and providing integrated services for optimal patient care. 

About Loyola Medicine

Loyola Medicine is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC) in Maywood, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital (GMH) in Melrose Park, MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from more than 1,750 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. The medical center campus is also home to Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and the Loyola Center for Fitness. GMH is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments in a convenient community setting at eight locations. Loyola Medicine is a member of Trinity Health, one of the nation’s largest health systems with 94 hospitals in 22 states.

About Trinity Health

Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 93 hospitals, as well as 122 continuing care programs that include PACE, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $17.6 billion and assets of $23.4 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 131,000 colleagues, including 7,500 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit You can also follow @TrinityHealthMI on Twitter.