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 ....

Signs of Hearing Loss for Babies and Children

Chantel Hazlewood

Early identification and intervention of childhood hearing loss is linked to improved outcomes in communication and learning. Most newborns receive a hearing screening before being discharged from the hospital. However, some children may experience hearing loss sometime after that initial screening. Childhood hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors including family history, health problems at birth, syndromes, persistent middle ear fluid, chronic ear infections, and exposure to loud noise or head trauma. Children with normal hearing typically demonstrate similar listening and vocalization behaviors. If your child does not display these behaviors, it may be a sign of possible hearing loss or other problems.

Does your baby…

 

Birth – 3 months

  • Wake or startle in response to a sudden noise?
  • Seem to be soothed by your voice?

4-6 months

  • Move ...

Managing nasal congestion

Samson Lee

Nasal congestion is an extremely common complaint that brings patients in to see their physician. Often times congestion is temporarily associated with the common cold or infrequent sinus infections. Nasal congestion can in some patients be more of a chronic daily problem that impairs quality of life, sleep, and exercise tolerance. Sometimes congestion is not a daily problem but a frequently recurring problem associated with frequent bouts of sinusitis.

Frequent causes of nasal congestion include:

  • Deviated nasal septum sometimes also associated with a crooked nose
  • Uncontrolled and undiagnosed allergies
  • Recurring sinus infections
  • Enlarged structures in the nose called turbinates which can block one’s breathing

There are many treatment options for chronic nasal congestion, both medical and surgical. Evaluating which....

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:

Ten Ways To Recognize Hearing Loss

Claire Kilcoyne, Au.D.

  • Do you have a problem hearing over the telephone?
  • Do you have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time?
  • Do people complain that you turn the TV volume up too high?
  • Do you have to strain to understand conversation?
  • Do you have trouble hearing in a noisy background?
  • Do you find yourself asking people to repeat themselves?
  • Do many people you talk to seem to mumble (or not speak clearly)?
  • Do you misunderstand what others are saying and respond inappropriately?
  • Do you have trouble understanding the speech of women and children?
  • Do people get annoyed because you misunderstand what they say?

If you or a loved one answered yes to three or more of the above questions, you may want to make an appointment with an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose and throat specialist) and/or an audiologist for a hearing evaluation.

Hearing loss can be caused by ...

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?

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