Swedish News Blog

12th Man Fans: Protect your voice and hearing!

K. Linnea Peterson

K. Linnea Peterson
Medical Director, Swedish Otolaryngology

The infectious energy of Seahawks fans is part of what makes the team one of the most exciting to watch in the NFL.  This team spirit has caught the attention of Guinness world record officials who are verifying that the “12th Man” fans are the loudest in the NFL.  You can show your support and enjoy being a part of the “12th Man” while taking a few precautions to protect your hearing and your voice during and after the game. 

Swedish Otolaryngology cheers on the Seahawks.

Here are a few tips:

  • Wear hearing protection during the game. 

High levels of noise can result in tinnitus in the hours and days following the game.  This ringing in the ears can be a sign of permanent damage from excessive noise exposure.  Anything from large headphones to simple foam plugs are adequate for hearing protection.  The roar of the crowd will still be audible, but the dampening will protect your ears and ....

Rinsing: The Single Best Thing You Can Do to Keep Your Nose Happy

Vincent T. Chan

Vincent T. Chan
Otolaryngologist

One of the best parts of living and practicing in Seattle (Ballard in particular) is that I see my patients everywhere I go! Just this last weekend I ran into patients buying bagels, at the Ballard farmer’s market, and walking around Greenlake.

One patient I saw recently asked about her husband who was always complaining about his nose but she hasn’t been able to drag him into my office to be evaluated.  She asked me, “What can I have him do to at home to help his nose?”

For home care, I may recommend my patients rinse their nose with saline once a day.  Nasal saline irrigation has been well studied in controlled trials and has been shown to improve nasal symptom scores regardless of whether the nose is bothered by sinusitis or allergies.  It is one

What is voice therapy and how does it work?

Joanne Fenn, M.S., CCC-SLP

Joanne Fenn, M.S., CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist

You have seen an otolaryngologist about a voice problem and have now been referred for voice therapy. And you may wonder - what in the world will that involve?  You might think, I already know how to talk! 

Voice production is complex. It involves many muscles, multiple systems, and the balance and coordination of these systems in order to produce a healthy voice. Often these muscles or systems can become tight, strained, or imbalanced.  This can either cause a voice problem, or result from a voice problem.  The system can also become imbalanced following voice strain; with a weak vocal fold or a vocal fold lesion; after a cold; or from other sources of throat irritation such as reflux.

Think about pulling a muscle in your back.  Over time, other muscles may become strained by trying to guard, protect or compensate for the initial muscle injury. Your throat is like that too, although many people don’t realize it until something goes wrong with their voice.

Voice therapy is like physical therapy for your voice.  Just like athletes work with trainers and physical therapists after an injury, people with vocal issues benefit from working with a speech pathologist.

During voice therapy sessions you may be asked to:

Why is it hard to swallow?

K. Linnea Peterson

K. Linnea Peterson
Medical Director, Swedish Otolaryngology

Many people suffer from difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) acutely or chronically. Difficulty with swallowing may be a result of a problem anywhere from the lips to the stomach. It may be identified by weight loss, coughing or choking when eating, delayed cough or regurgitation, or outright obstruction. This is more likely to be an issue after a stroke or in elderly and frail individuals. In the inpatient population, symptoms suggesting some level of dysphagia may be as high as 34%. So what do you do if you feel like your swallow isn’t quite right?

Chronic Snoring Solutions

Christopher S. Yang, MD, FACS

Christopher S. Yang, MD, FACS
Director, Sleep Surgery

Novelist Anthony Burgess once said, “Laugh and the world laughs with you, snore and you sleep alone”.

It’s a saying that hits home for many. Chronic snoring is an embarrassing problem for sufferers and a source of aggravation for their loved ones. From loving and maybe not so loving nudges to ear plugs, the weary-eyed partners of snorers often finally move on to seek shelter from the nightly onslaught in a far away quiet room in the house.

(Single folks are not immune as any overnight trips with friends, business partners, potential mates becomes a source of anxiety and embarrassment.)

Snoring occurs because during sleep, the muscles that helps to keep the airway open relaxes and the resulting narrowing and turbulence can cause vibrations that lead to snoring.

After a more serious condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea has been sufficiently ruled out, try these steps to help with snoring:

How our voices work, and what to do when a voice doesn't work

K. Linnea Peterson

K. Linnea Peterson
Medical Director, Swedish Otolaryngology

A voice is an amazing thing.

With our voice, we convey information, express emotion and provide entertainment. We each have our own unique vocal ‘fingerprint’ that allows our friends to recognize us when we call them on the phone. We rely on our voice to win a debate, negotiate a contract, reassure a frightened child, and to celebrate a victory. Our tone conveys honesty, anger, happiness and fear. A song can inspire a spectrum of emotions, and recall past memories.

So how does our voice work? And what do you do when it doesn’t work?

Voice is produced when air is pushed up from the lungs to the level of the vocal cords. The vocal cords vibrate, producing sound. The vocal cords tense, lengthen and stretch to produce different frequencies. The sound is then shaped by the upper airway to add resonance and articulation resulting in speech or song.

The vocal cords themselves are thin bands of tissue over muscle. They sit within a framework that has a complex nerve supply and multiple paired muscles that allow very nuanced changes in vibration of the vocal cords, well demonstrated in professional singers.

Subtle differences in vibration or movement can ...

Swedish to Host Live Stream of Woman’s First Time Hearing in Five Years, Plus Live Text Chats

Swedish News

CochlearImplantMrsDay.jpgSEATTLE, Oct. 9, 2012 - On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Eleanor Day, 79, underwent a cochlear implant procedure at Swedish/Cherry Hill by Dr. Douglas Backous, medical director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery. Her procedure was the world’s first live-instagrammed and live-tweeted cochlear implant (hearing restoration) surgery (click here to see a recap). This Wednesday, Oct. 10, Swedish will live stream Mrs. Day’s cochlear implant activation, in which she will potentially hear her husband’s voice without the help of hearing aids for the first time in five years. The Days have been married for 60 years.

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