Health x Wellness

7 signs that you should go to an ENT doctor

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When it comes to our health, we often pay close attention to our general well-being and end up overlooking specific areas like ear, nose, and throat (ENT) health.

In Singapore, where the climate and environment can sometimes trigger illness, it’s crucial to be attuned to signs that indicate it’s time to see an ENT doctor in Singapore. These specialists possess the expertise to address a range of issues related to these parts of the body. Whether you have minor or serious issues with these body parts, an otolaryngologist can help alleviate your symptoms and provide treatment for your health challenges.

Have you been ignoring signs and symptoms in your ear, nose, and throat? If the answer is yes, look at this list to see if you do, indeed, need to visit the nearest ENT, as soon as possible.


Stubborn sinus congestion

Singapore’s humid climate can sometimes lead to sinus congestion, which is not an uncommon condition. However, when that congestion becomes persistent and affects your ability to breathe comfortably, it’s time to take notice.

Contrary to popular belief, chronic sinus congestion can be more than just a seasonal nuisance. In fact, it may indicate underlying issues that an ENT specialist can diagnose and treat effectively. Case in point, chronic sinusitis, which is characterised by inflammation of the sinuses.

In some cases, medical conditions like cystic fibrosis, immune system disorders, or tumours in the nasal or sinus area can also result in chronic sinus congestion. Identifying the specific cause of congestion through an examination by an ENT specialist is crucial for developing an effective treatment plan, which may include medication, lifestyle changes, or, in severe cases, surgical intervention.

Recurrent ear infections

Most cases of ear infections can be painful. On many occasions, the infection goes away on its own without the need for antibiotics; in severe cases, it may lead to permanent hearing loss if it’s recurring and left untreated. Whether it’s you or your child experiencing these uncomfortable episodes, an ENT doctor can identify the root causes of these infections.

There are a lot of possible underlying causes for recurring ear infections, especially in children. These may include Eustachian tube dysfunction, which leads to poor drainage of fluid from the middle ear. This makes the ear more susceptible to infections. In addition, exposure to tobacco smoke, allergies, or viral upper respiratory infections can also increase the likelihood of recurrent ear infections.

Chronic sore throat

A chronic sore throat can be more than a mere inconvenience; it can significantly affect your quality of life. If you find yourself constantly battling a sore throat that refuses to go away, it’s time to consult an ENT specialist who can determine the potential causes and provide targeted solutions.

A persistent sore throat can potentially hide serious underlying conditions, including strep throat, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, tonsillitis, and throat or laryngeal cancer. While most sore throats are caused by common infections, individuals with recurrent or long-lasting symptoms, especially if accompanied by difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, or unexplained weight loss, should seek medical attention from an ENT specialist. Proper evaluation is crucial to rule out serious conditions and initiate appropriate treatments or interventions as needed.


Unexplained hearing loss

Hearing is a vital part of our daily lives and unexplained hearing loss should be a cause for concern. If you notice changes in your ability to hear, an ENT doctor can help identify the type of hearing loss you’re experiencing and provide the necessary guidance and treatment.

Unexplained hearing loss can be attributed to several underlying factors. These include age-related hearing loss (presbycusis), which is a common and gradual loss of hearing over time, and noise-induced hearing loss due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds.

Frequent dizziness and balance issues

Dizziness and balance problems can be attributed to various factors, including issues with the inner ear. ENT doctors are well-equipped to diagnose and treat these issues, which can help you regain your equilibrium and prevent further discomfort.

Dizziness and balance issues may stem from various causes. These include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a condition where small calcium particles in the inner ear disrupt balance; Meniere’s disease, characterised by inner ear fluid buildup; vestibular neuritis, often caused by viral infections affecting the inner ear; and labyrinthitis, an inner ear inflammation that can lead to balance problems.

Nagging allergies

Singapore’s lush environment can sometimes trigger allergies. This may cause discomfort and be a hindrance in day-to-day life. When allergies become a persistent issue, it’s wise to consult an ENT specialist. They can identify specific allergens and offer targeted treatments to alleviate your symptoms.

Allergies are caused by the immune system’s overreaction to typically harmless substances, such as pollen, dust mites, pet dander, or certain foods. These allergies often result in symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.

Persistent nosebleeds

Frequent nosebleeds are not just an inconvenience but also signal potential health issues. If you find yourself dealing with persistent nosebleeds, don’t hesitate to see an ENT doctor for a thorough evaluation and guidance on managing this condition.

Constant exposure to irritants or the use of certain medications can contribute to nasal dryness and increased susceptibility to nosebleeds. Meanwhile, structural issues in the nose, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps, can result in chronic nosebleeds as well.

Your ear, nose, and throat health plays a significant role in your overall well-being. By paying attention to these signs and promptly seeking the expertise of an ENT doctor in Singapore, you can maintain your good health and a high quality of life. 

Don’t overlook the importance of your ENT health. Seek professional guidance when needed.

Photo by Towfiqu barbhuiya and by Jessica Flavia on Unsplash