Eye-Opening Device Shows Damage From Smoking
Posted October 21, 2003 8:52 a.m. EDT
CARY, N.C. — It is easy to tell people about the dangers of smoking, but sometimes it takes seeing the damage with your own eyes. Doctor are using an eye-opening weapon to help patients kick the habit.
Using Videostroboscopy, a scope with a camera on it, Dr. Charles Mann can look at a patient's throat to get a close look at the larnyx, or voice box, in action.
Mann is able to see things the human eye cannot, like swelling, stiffness, or precancerous growths caused by smoking. For many patients, seeing
"When you turn around directly and show them these are changes that resulted directly from your lifestyle and your behavior and your smoking, it makes an impression," Mann said.
That was the case for Milton Rambeaut, who smoked for most of his 80 years. After seeing the damage smoking caused him, he kicked the habit seven years ago.
"I just laid [the cigarettes] on the counter and told my wife that's the end of them. I would never smoke another one. I never have," he said.
Rambeaut still needs regular checkups, but so far, it looks like the damage was caught in time. There is no sign of cancer and his vocal cords are healing.
"His cords are nice and mobile where before, he had quite a bit of stiffness," Mann said.
Rambeaut likes what he sees and does not miss smoking at all.
"I hate to even smell [cigarettes] or get around someone who's smoking," he said.
Many ear, nose and throat specialists have the device and its use is covered by most insurance plans. Besides detecting problems caused by smoking, Videostroboscopy is also used to diagnose acid reflux and other conditions.