Speech and Swallowing Center

At ENT Physicians, Inc. our speech-language pathologists improve communication, voice, and swallowing for patients of all ages. If your voice changes or eating is difficult, we understand the problem. With our advanced training and extraordinary technology, we can help.

Difficulty Swallowing: Whether food gets stuck, pills are hard to swallow or you cough often, our testing reveals key information to understand your problem. A fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) can be completed in the office to visualize the throat during swallowing. Swallowing treatment teaches meal-time techniques and food modifications to maximize safety and nutrition. Many of our patients have had a stroke, neurological disease, neck cancers or are infants and children who have trouble eating.

Voice: With our office based laryngeal videostroboscopy, we actually see the voice box to thoroughly understand your voice and breathing problems. Voice therapy trains improved voice technique and establishes a vocal hygiene program for patients to follow. We focus on balancing the voicing system with proper breath support, relaxation and resonance. Voice therapy and laryngeal imaging help make decisions for vocal cord surgery and maximize outcomes if surgery is needed.

Articulation and Language Delay: We provide evaluation and treatment for children who are hard to understand or late talkers. We train parents and caregivers easy to use strategies to improve communication development.

If you are experiencing any difficulties in these areas, please talk to your physician and call one of our Speech-language pathologists, Laura M Winters at 419-776-5029.

Voice change can be a frustrating issue with great impact on one’s lifestyle. Hoarseness can make the voice sound breathy, raspy, strained, or show changes in volume or pitch. Voice change is associated with variations of tissue health and technique of the voice box which includes vibration of the vocal cords housed within the larynx.

Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box (larynx). Symptoms are an unnatural change of voice, such as hoarseness, or even loss of voice that develops within hours to a day or so. The throat may tickle or feel raw, and a person may have a constant urge to clear the throat. Symptoms vary with the severity of the inflammation.

Vocal cord nodules are small growths on both vocal folds that are caused by vocal abuse. Polyps can appear on either one or both vocal cords. Their appearance varies from a swelling or bump (like a nodule) to a stalk-like growth or a blister-like lesion.

Everyone has two vocal cords in his or her larynx (voicebox). The vocal cords vibrate during speech to produce voice. If one or both vocal cords are paralyzed and are unable to move then the person will experience voice problems and possibly breathing and swallowing problems.

Spasmodic dysphonia is a disorder characterized by involuntary movements of one or more muscles of the larynx or voice box. The first signs of spasmodic dysphonia are most often found in individuals between 30 and 50 years old.

Difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) is common among all age groups, especially the elderly. Many patients with swallowing disorders can be treated with medication. Drugs that slow stomach acid production, muscle relaxants and antacids are a few of the many medicines available. Surgery is used to treat certain swallowing problems. If a narrowing exists, or a muscle is too tight, the area may need to be stretched or the muscle may need to be released surgically.

What is Videostroboscopy?

Videostroboscopy is a procedure used to assess structure and movement of the vocal cords. The procedure requires use of a scope, camera, recording device, television monitor, microphone, and strobe light source to record pseudo slow-motion images of the vocal cords at rest and during vibration or speaking.

What is FEES?

FEES stands for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing. FEES is a study designed to evaluate the swallowing mechanism. The study requires the passage of a flexible fiberoptic endoscope into the nose to the nasopharynx (high in the back of the throat) in order to visualize the back of the tongue and throat to observe the actual swallow in progress.