The different parts of our body were made for specific roles. Each one of them is responsible for keeping our body well-functioning. And because of the respective roles they play, they also have different needs.
Whenever something goes wrong on our ears or our nose, seeing a general physician may not be enough. Depending on your condition, you might need the help of a physician that specializes in that specific area, like an ENT specialist!
If you’ve never heard of an ENT specialist before, what they do, and how they help patients, we’ll help you out. Through this guide, we’ll be discussing what an ENT specialist in Singapore does and what an ENT clinic in Singapore can do for its local patients.
What Do Otolaryngologists Do?
Otolaryngology is a medical speciality that focuses on disorders and illnesses of the ear, nose, and throat region. In some cases, they can also diagnose conditions around the head and neck area.
The medical speciality was born during the 19th century when doctors found out that the ear, nose, and throat region or the ENT is closely connected to a system of tubes and passages.
And because of this, doctors looked for new tools that’ll allow them to take a closer look at those areas. Hence, the Ears Nose Throat (ENT) specialist was born.
An ENT specialist is trained to be an expert in the medical and surgical management of the conditions related to the ear, nose, throat, and other related areas within the head or the neck.
Here are some of the more common diseases an ENT specialist should treat.
Conditions of the Ear
An ENT specialist should be able to take charge in the medical and surgical treatment of hearing, ear infections, balance disorders, tinnitus or ear noise, never pain, as well as facial and cranial nerve disorders.
An ENT specialist is trained to diagnose any congenital disorders around the outer and inner ear.
Conditions of the Nose
An ENT specialist takes charge of the care of the nasal cavity and the sinuses. They should oversee the management of the nasal area including allergies and the sense of smell.
The appearance of and breathing through the nose are also included in the specialities of an ENT specialist.
Conditions of the Throat
An otolaryngologist should have expertise in the treatment of diseases in the larynx and the upper aero-digestive tract or our oesophagus.
They are tasked with the treatment of voice and swallowing disorders as well.
Conditions of the Head And The Neck
An ENT specialist can also help in treating infectious diseases, benign and malignant tumours, facial trauma and other deformities in the face.
This region also falls under the speciality of an otolaryngologist due to the presence of important nerves that control a patient’s sight, smell, and hearing.
Some otolaryngologists train themselves for other subspecialties. This includes allergy, cosmetic surgery, otology, and even pediatric ENT.
How to Know If You Need An ENT Specialist
Sometimes, listening to our body is not enough for us to know what’s wrong with it. There are cases wherein our body sends too many signals at once that it leaves us confused. Here’s how you can listen to your body if it needs the help of an ENT specialist.
Look For Signs of A Chronic Sinus Infection
Our body’s mucus helps filter the air that we breathe through our sinuses and drains it through our nose. But sometimes, the mucus gets blocked and it can’t be drained out properly.
When this happens, an infection starts to develop. Viruses, bacteria, and other germs can cause sinusitis or sinus infections. This then results in a congested nose or painful pressure in our face.
If you first visited a general physician for this condition, they’ll advise you to go to an ENT clinic in Singapore to see an ENT specialist.
Look For Signs of Nasal Congestion
Patients who consistently wake up with a blocked nose should pay an ENT clinic in Singapore a visit.
This is because consistent nasal congestion is not a common condition and is often a sign of an underlying health issue. Some of the more common causes of nasal congestion include airborne allergies, infections, and even a deviated septum.
Look For Signs of Laryngitis
The first sign of laryngitis that a patient should watch out for is a raspy or strained voice. Sometimes, we lose our voices due to a bad case of cold. But if your strained voice lasts for more than six weeks, then you might need to set an appointment in an ENT clinic.
Various other health issues could cause laryngitis and an ENT specialist will help you figure out which one you have. Swelling, lumps and other growths on your vocal cords could lead to changes in your voice.
Other conditions like voice strain, smoking, injuries, and even GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease can affect our larynx. An ENT specialist will take a look into your voice box to determine the best treatment for your condition. And depending on the severity of the situation, they may give you steroids or antibiotics.
Look For Signs of An Ear Infection
Ear infections are common among children. But this doesn’t mean adults are exempted from the condition.
The condition often involves inflammation of the middle ear, caused by an allergy or mucus build up behind the eardrum. Which results in pain and troubled hearing. Severe ear infections can cause our eardrums to burst that’s why an immediate visit to an ENT clinic is a MUST.
In certain adult cases of earaches, a tumour or growth in the throat causes the condition. An ENT specialist will use a tool to look deep into a patient’s ear. They might even run tests to see if there’s too much pressure or fluid in their ear.
Depending on the severity of the case, they might recommend home remedies like using a warm compress to ease the pain. Early detection is required to prevent ear infections from developing into something severe.
Look For Signs of Tonsillitis
Our tonsils are the two round lumps found in the back of our throats. And unknown to most people, they’re part of our immune system. Similar to our adenoids found at the back of our nasal cavity, an infection in our tonsils or tonsillitis could lead to sore throat or fever.
An ENT specialist could prescribe treatments for the infection. And in some severe cases, an ENT clinic could recommend surgical treatment to remove a patient’s tonsils.
Look For Signs of Sleep Apnea
Snoring is considered a normal habit among most Singaporeans. That is until the snoring becomes loud and causes a patient consistent interrupted sleep. In that case, then you might have obstructive sleep apnea.
These sudden wake-ups in the middle of the night are commonly caused by temporary stops in our breathing. And when sleep apnea is left untreated, it can lead to physical exhaustion in the morning and other serious health issues like high blood pressure and heart disease.
If you’ve been experiencing consistent interruption during your sleep, you might have to pay an ENT clinic in Singapore visit. After an assessment, an ENT specialist might prescribe a sleeping device that’ll help a patient’s airways remain open. Additionally, they might also recommend lifestyle changes like losing weight.
When You Have Trouble Hearing
It’s a common symptom for older people to experience hearing loss. But the condition can easily affect other people too.
If you hear muffled sounds or if you have trouble hearing people in crowds, you might be experiencing hearing loss. Another common symptom that people feel is a certain ringing in their ear.
Hearing loss can be caused by wax build=ip in our ear. Infections, loud noises, head injuries, and even heart problems could also cause it. So, if you’ve been having trouble with your hearing, you need to see an ENT specialist immediately.
An ENT clinic can easily diagnose and treat your problem, either by removing wax build-up or surgically repair an ear injury.
When You Experience Vertigo
Vertigo is the condition of constant dizziness or feeling of your body swaying despite standing still. Vertigo can be caused by an infection in our inner ear which helps us control our balance. But other underlying health issues could cause this feeling.
Upon your assessment with an ENT specialist, treatment will depend on what’s causing your vertigo. Sometimes it might include medication or a change in diet.
Look For Signs of Swollen Lymph Nodes
Certain infections can lead to temporary swollen lymph nodes that become visible lumps in our necks or throats. If a swollen lymph node doesn’t go away on its own after more than two weeks, this could be a sign of another health issue.
Even if they’re not causing discomfort or pain, lymph nodes can be an early sign of cancers in the mouth, throat, and thyroid gland. If you’re unsure if the swollen is a symptom of a serious condition, you should see an ENT specialist immediately.
An ENT clinic will help you figure out the cause of the swelling through a series of examinations like biopsies, ultrasound tests, or other imaging examinations. Early detection is one of the best courses of action a patient can take when their lymph nodes are swelling. Doing so will allow you to determine whether it’s a serious affliction or not.
Should it showcase any signs leading to cancer, treatment will be administered early on. And this would give patients’ better chances of beating cancer.
What Makes An ENT Specialist Different?
Speech, hearing, breathing, and other functions that relate to the ENT region is critical to everyone. Our bodies rely heavily on the ENT region to function fully and if one area goes wrong, our entire body becomes almost incapacitated to function.
And because of the critical importance of the ENT region, otolaryngologists do their jobs with a high level of precision and care. Patients that are suffering from conditions involving the ENT region, either one of them or all of them, can seek the help of an ENT specialist.
They’ll provide you with a holistic treatment that ensures both three areas are well-taken care for. As we’ve discussed earlier, the entire ENT region is connected through a system of passages. And when one area is infected, the rest of the region can be heavily impacted.
So, an ENT clinic in Singapore might introduce holistic treatments to a patient like a change in lifestyle and diet.
How to Find The Right ENT Clinic?
Finding the right ENT specialist in Singapore can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking into. So, to help you out, we’ve made a list of qualities you need to look for when searching for the right ENT clinic in Singapore.
First, make sure to check their credentials. Do they have the necessary board certification practitioners need to treat patients? Do your research to see if they have any history of malpractice and other dangerous operations that could put you in danger.
The second thing you need to keep in mind is their experience. How experienced are they in treating vertigo and other serious complications? Make it a habit to ask for referrals from people you know. It’ll help lessen your worries if you know someone who has experienced the treatment and customer service your chosen ENT clinic offers.
Listen to Your Body
Hard-working Singaporeans tend to ignore their bodies for symptoms that they often view as normal or minimal. When in reality, listening to everything that our body says is key to maintaining great health. Our bodies have their defence mechanism. It lets us know if it needs extra help in keeping us healthy and well.
If you’ve been experiencing one or two symptoms of the conditions we’ve listed above, you should seek the help of an ear nose throat (ENT) specialist in Singapore. Not only will this help you figure out any underlying issue, but it helps us take better care of ourselves.
To learn more about what a good ENT specialist in Singapore looks like, visit Dr Gan Eng Cern’s website! Dr Gan Eng Cern is the leading ENT specialist of Novena, Singapore.