Retired teacher shares his journey: “I can breathe again!”

To Breathe Again, A Retired Teacher’s Journey!

After years of breathing difficulty, an older patient found fast relief at PacMed.

Retired teacher Ron has struggled with his breathing his entire adult life. Now 87, he has visited countless doctors over the years, but all he left with were antibiotics and temporary relief. His breathing issues affected his ability to keep active, and he was growing concerned about all the antibiotics. He wanted to find another approach.

When Ron’s primary care provider encouraged him to see an ENT—an ear-nose-throat specialist—at PacMed, he had little hope for yet another proposed solution. But he left his exam with Dr. Ling Zhou pleasantly surprised!

Ron said during his first visit, Dr. Zhou listened carefully to his history and, after examination, suggested the issue was with his turbinates. Turbinates are small structures inside the nose that cleanse and humidify air that passes through the nostrils into the lungs. Dr. Zhou proposed a turbinate reduction and explained how it would work. Soon after, Ron headed to the hospital for the procedure.

The results were immediate. The afternoon after surgery, Ron put it simply: “I can breathe again!”

Dr. Zhou was pleased. “Turbinates can become swollen and inflamed, reducing airflow,” he explained. “A variety of techniques exist to reduce the inflammation and size of turbinates. Most patients are breathing significantly better just two weeks after surgery.”

Ron said Dr. Zhou was not only a great physician, but the best physician he had seen in years. “He listens to his patients. If I brought up what I thought the issue could be, he would investigate it. He involved me in my medical care,” reflected Ron.

“Dr. Zhou is a special kind of physician—he never treated me as if he was in a hurry. He listened, and he made time.”

Dr. Ling Zhou practices otolaryngology at the PacMed Canyon Park, First Hill, Northgate and Renton clinics. Board certified, he welcomes new patients. 206.505.1300