Do You Suffer From Sleep Problems? Dr. Williams and Dr. Lenox Provide Treatment Options

July 2014

Leading the News from the American Medical Association

NHLBI: Seventy million Americans suffer from sleep problems.

USA Today (7/6, Hellmich) reported that “an estimated 70 million Americans suffer from sleep problems, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, shift-work sleep disorder or narcolepsy, as well as sleep disturbances associated with many diseases, mental illnesses and addictions, according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research, part of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.” Insomnia may be caused by depression, medications, anxiety, alcohol or caffeine consumption, or medical problems. The article provided sleep hygiene tips for readers troubled by an occasional bout of sleeplessness.

        CDC: One in 25 adults say they’ve fallen asleep at the wheel.

AP (7/4, Stobbe) reported that according to the results of a survey released July 3 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, “about one in 25 adults say they recently fell asleep while driving.”

CBS News (7/4) website reports that the CDC “survey of 92,000 people across 10 states and Puerto Rico” also revealed that “the biggest offenders were men aged 18 to 34.” What’s more, “according to the CDC, of the more than 33,000 fatal crashes reported annually in the US, as many as 7,500 involve drowsy drivers.”

HealthDay (7/4, Reinberg) quoted CDC epidemiologist Anne Wheaton, PhD, who explained that “most drowsy driving occurs early in the morning or late at night ‘when your body is telling you, you should be in bed.’” Wheaton advised people to “‘get enough sleep.’ In addition, don’t drink and drive, see a doctor if you have a sleep disorder, and always wear a seat belt, she said.”

How Can Dr. Williams and Dr. Lenox Assist You in Evaluating OSA?

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

During sleep, the upper airway can be obstructed by excess tissue, large tonsils and/or a large tongue. Also contributing to the problem may be the airway muscles, which relax and collapse during sleep, nasal passages, and the position of the jaw. The cessation of breathing, or “apnea,” brought about by these factors initiates impulses from the brain to wake the person just enough to restart the breathing process. Sleep apnea is generally defined as the presence of more than 30 apneas during a seven-hour sleep. In severe cases, periods of not breathing may last for as long as 60 to 90 seconds and may recur up to 500 times a night.


Depending on whether your OSA is mild, moderate or severe, Dr. Williams and Dr. Lenox will select the treatment that’s best for you. This can range from behavior modification to oral appliances to an air pressure device. Surgery may be a good alternative for some patients, but it’s important to keep in mind that no surgical procedure is universally successful. Every patient has a different shaped nose and throat, so before surgery is considered the surgeons at Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery will measure the airway at several points and check for any abnormal flow of air from the nose to lungs.

Dr. Lenox has a special interest in the correction of sleep apnea disorders. He is among a small group of oral & maxillofacial surgeons across the country trained in trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) using the DaVinci surgical robot for minimally invasive treatment of tongue-base cancer and obstructive sleep disorders.

The following surgical procedures are performed by the surgeons of Carolina Oral & Facial Surgery:

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) This procedure shortens and stiffens the soft palate by partially removing the uvula and reducing the edge of the soft palate.
  • Hyoid Suspension The hyoid bone is located above the level of the thyroid cartilage (Adam’s apple). The procedure secures the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage to help stabilize this region of the airway.
  • Genioglossus Advancement (GGA) This procedure tightens the front tongue tendon, reducing the degree of tongue displacement into the throat. This operation is often performed in tandem with at least one other procedure such as UPPP or hyoid suspension.
  • Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA) This procedure surgically moves the upper and lower jaws forward along with the soft tissues of the tongue and palate, opening the upper airway. For some patients, the MMA is the only technique that can create the necessary air passageway.
Additional  information found at AAOMS

Please call our office today, 864-458-9800 or 888-531-7393, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lenox or Dr. Williams.





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