Allergy, Nose & Sinus

8 Common Conditions Treated by ENT Specialists in Singapore

January 16, 2020
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Otolaryngology is a medical speciality that deals with the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat (ENT) and head & neck disorders. The physicians trained in this medical field are referred to as ENT specialists or otolaryngologists. They provide medical and surgical care for a wide range of conditions that affects both adults and children in the ear, nose and throat regions as well as structures of the neck and face.

 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the common conditions that people seek help from an ENT specialist.

 

 

1. Snoring and sleep apnea

 

 

More than just a disrupting rattling noise made during sleep, snoring can be a sign of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA). This medical condition occurs when a person stops breathing for a short period during sleep, caused by the throat muscles intermittently relaxing and blocking the airway. If left untreated, OSA can lead to more serious complications such as cardiovascular problems.

 

 

2. Sensitive nose (Rhinitis – Allergic and Non-allergic)

 

Rhinitis, or sensitive nose, refers to an inflammation of the nasal cavity. Symptoms include sneezing, blocked nose, frequent and clear runny nose, and itchy eyes. Allergic rhinitis is triggered due to exposure to allergens in the air, such as house dust mites. On the other hand, non-allergic rhinitis can be triggered by strong odours, temperature changes, cigarette smoke and hormonal changes.

 

 

3. Sinusitis

 

Sinusitis occurs when there is an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. As a result, mucous can be trapped in the sinuses and lead to bacterial infection. Symptoms may include thick or coloured mucous, blocked and congested, facial pressure and reduced sense of smell.

 

 

4. Tonsillitis

 

 

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, which are two oval-shaped lumps of tissues found at the back of the throat. The infection can be recurrent, and patients usually experience severe sore throat, difficulty in swallowing and fever. Surgical removal of tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be recommended to reduce the frequency of getting tonsil infections.

 

 

5. Impacted earwax

 

Earwax helps to keep the ear canal clean and protect it from water, foreign objects, injury and infection. But when there is excessive wax build-up (known as impacted earwax) which fails to clear on its own, this may cause a person to have decreased hearing level in the affected ear, earache, or a secondary ear infection. Removal of ear wax can be done under microscope guidance by an ENT specialist in Singapore.

 

 

6. Ear infections

 

 

Ear infections can affect the outer ear or inner ear. Otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear, is infection and inflammation of the ear canal. Another type is middle ear infections (Otitis media), which is more common in children as their eustachian tubes are immature and germs can reach the middle ear more easily.

 

 

7. Tinnitus and hearing loss

 

Tinnitus can be described by a ringing, buzzing or hissing sound in the ear. These can be caused by hearing loss from prolonged exposure to loud noises or age-related hearing loss. While the majority of tinnitus cases are not dangerous, symptoms like hearing loss in one ear (or worse in one ear) and tinnitus of a thumping nature can be red flags to indicate a more serious underlying condition.

 

 

8. Thyroid nodules/lumps

 

Thyroid nodules can develop in any part of the thyroid gland. These lumps can be solid or filled with liquid and appear as a single nodule or in a cluster. Though common, thyroid nodules are benign or non-cancerous, 90% of the time. Benign nodules can be monitored and managed, otherwise a thyroid surgery may be recommended if a thyroid nodule is suspected to be cancerous.

 

 

Seeking the help of a specialist

 

Primary care physicians can help to rule out or treat simple conditions. Common ENT conditions such as sensitive nose, sinusitis, ear infections and tonsillitis, for example, can be evaluated and treated first by your family doctor.

 

But if the symptoms or condition still persist, this should prompt a referral to a doctor specialised in ENT care. Further diagnosis, testing, and monitoring by an ENT specialist in Singapore may be required to determine the appropriate treatment.

Where to get help

As seen, children are at high risk of developing various kinds of ENT problems. They can seek medical attention from a primary care doctor first but when these problems become persistent and affect the development or quality of life of your child, it is a sign that you should start looking for an ENT specialist for your child.
Medically reviewed by Dr Gan Eng Cern

When Should You See An ENT Specialist In Singapore?

  • Any Ear, Nose or Throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned of
  • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

Dr Gan Eng Cern

Dr Gan Eng Cern is a fellowship trained Consultant Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Surgeon. He completed his ENT training in Singapore and obtained his subspecialty training in Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery at the world renowned St Paul’s Sinus Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. He was also a Senior Clinical Lecturer at Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore. Dr Gan was an avid researcher with numerous publications in reputable international ENT journals. He was also an invited speaker and surgical dissection teacher in many ENT conferences and courses.

Awards

  • 2020 – Reader’s Choice Gold Award for Best ENT Specialist
    (Expat Living Singapore)
  • 2016 – Best Educator Award (Eastern Health Alliance)
  • 2016 – “Wow” Award (Patient Compliment)
  • 2014 – Eastern Health Alliance Caring Award – Silver
  • 2014 – 19th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship (awarded by the College
    of Surgeons, Academy of Medicine Singapore for best scientific surgical
    paper)
  • 2012 – Human Manpower Development Award (Ministry of Health,
    Singapore)
  • 2007 – Singhealth Best Doctor Award

Qualifications

  • MBBS - Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia)
  • MRCS (Edin) - Member of the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • MMed (ORL) - Master of Medicine in ENT (National University of Singapore)
  • FAMS - Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Singapore

Why Choose Dr Gan Eng Cern

1

Reliable & Reputable ENT Expert

Experienced and patient ENT Specialist who has your best interests at heart. We aim to provide you with accessible and specialized care for any ENT condition in a comfortable setting.

2

Friendly & Helpful Clinic Staff

Our friendly staff will assist you to the best of our ability and we are happy to accept most insurance providers and assist with E-filing with relevant insurance providers or Medisave.

3

Advanced ENT Equipment & Fully Equipped Facility

Our ENT Specialist, Dr Gan Eng Cern, will be able to diagnose and offer personalised treatments for your specific ENT condition. You can expect a high level of ENT care in a spacious setting with in-house minor surgical, endoscopy, allergy testing and microscopy services.

4

Financial Options

There are various financial options available for you to ensure that you are able to receive the most optimal treatment and care. Our ENT clinic staff will be able to assist you with your medical insurance claims and work with your chosen healthcare organization to minimize the hassle and paperwork required. In some cases, you may be able to utilise the funds in your Medisave account to defray part of the costs of your treatment. As our clinic is accredited by the Medisave board, we are able to process your claims from your Medisave for certain clinic procedures.

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