Ear Nose Throat Specialist Singapore: What do they check?

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Doctor examining senior patients ear with otoscope

As suggested in the name, Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialists are medical doctors trained in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the ear, nose, throat, head, and neck.

ENT specialists treat a wide range of conditions which include hearing loss, sinus infections, allergies like allergic rhinitis (https://drsomaent.com/is-allergic-rhinitis-a-common-problem-that-people-seek-treatment-for/), throat infections, voice disorders, and head and neck cancers.

They also perform various procedures like ear tube placements, tonsillectomies, sinus surgeries, and vocal cord surgeries. This article answers the question; what is checked by an ENT? Read on!

What is checked by an ENT?

To begin, your primary care physician (PCP) can address many concerns of the ear, nose, and throat (ENT). But, they may still refer you to an ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore.

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Usually, these referrals are for complex issues or specialized treatment. This is important as ENTs have advanced training and expertise in diagnosing and managing conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Below are some of the most common conditions that are checked by ENTs;

· Ear Infections (Otitis Media)

Ear infections are some of the most common reasons for ENT visits. This is particularly true for children. Now, otitis media occurs when the middle ear becomes infected.

This infection may cause not just pain, but also fever, and sometimes hearing loss. If otitis media is suspected, your ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore will check for signs of infection which may include; redness, fluid behind the eardrum, or bulging eardrums.

Treatment often involves antibiotics and pain management, and in some cases. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may also be recommended to drain the fluid.

· Sinus Infections (Sinusitis)

Sinusitis is the inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. ENTs examine the nasal passages and sinuses for signs of infection.

In this regard, they may check for swelling, redness, or drainage. They may use nasal endoscopy to get a closer look.

Treatment approaches may vary but mostly include antibiotics, decongestants, or corticosteroids. In severe cases, sinus surgery may be recommended to improve drainage and reduce the risk of future infections.

· Hearing Loss

Your ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore is also trained to diagnose and treat various types of hearing loss. For these issues, they conduct hearing tests to determine the extent and type of hearing loss.

Common causes of hearing loss include aging, noise exposure, ear infections, and genetic factors. Treatment options vary depending on the cause and severity of the hearing loss. They may include hearing aids, cochlear implants, or surgical procedures.

· Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the perception of noise or ringing in the ears. To determine the underlying cause of tinnitus, your ENT will evaluate your medical history and conduct a physical examination.

Underlying causes can run the gamut from hearing loss to exposure to loud noises, or underlying health conditions. Treatment may include addressing the underlying cause. You may also be given hearing aids or recommended sound therapy, or counseling to help manage the symptoms.

· Throat Infections (Pharyngitis)

Pharyngitis, or sore throat, can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. ENTs examine the throat and tonsils for signs of infection.

Again, key indicators here include redness, swelling, or pus. They may also perform a throat culture or rapid strep test to determine if the infection is bacterial.

Treatment typically involves rest, fluids, and pain relievers. Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections.

· Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breathing during sleep. ENTs can diagnose sleep apnea by conducting a physical examination and ordering sleep studies.

Treatment options also vary considerably. However, they may include lifestyle changes, such as weight loss or positional therapy, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, or surgery to remove obstructions in the airway.

· Vertigo and Balance Disorders

ENTs are also trained to diagnose and treat vertigo and other balance disorders. So, your ear, nose and throat specialist in Singapore may conduct a physical examination and order tests like a hearing test or imaging studies, for example, to determine the underlying cause of the balance issue.

Treatment may include medication or vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Surgery may also be recommended but this generally depends on the cause of the disorder.

· Allergies

ENTs often diagnose and treat allergies that affect the ears, nose, and throat. Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever for example are some of the most common issues your ear, nose and throat specialist can help you manage effectively.

These issues can cause symptoms like sneezing, itching, congestion, and postnasal drip. ENTs may perform allergy testing to identify specific allergens.

Based on the outcomes, they can help you develop a treatment plan which may include allergen avoidance and medications such as antihistamines. They may also recommend nasal corticosteroids, or allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) to desensitize the immune system to allergens over time.

· Voice Disorders

Thanks to their specialization on neck and head disorders, ENTs can also diagnose and treat voice disorders which can affect the vocal cords or the larynx (voice box). Common voice disorders that your ear, nose and throat specialist can help with include laryngitis, vocal cord nodules or polyps, and vocal cord paralysis.

ENTs may use laryngoscopy to examine the vocal cords and assess their function. Treatment options vary depending on the underlying cause. But, they may include voice therapy, surgery to remove vocal cord lesions, or medications to reduce inflammation.

· Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia)

ENTs evaluate and treat swallowing disorders that affect the ability to swallow safely and efficiently. Dysphagia can result from various conditions like stroke, neurological disorders, or structural abnormalities in the throat or esophagus.

ENTs may perform a swallowing evaluation to assess the muscles and coordination involved in swallowing. Treatment may include swallowing therapy, dietary modifications, or surgical interventions to improve swallowing function.

Wrapping Up

Ear, nose and throat specialists play a key role in diagnosing and treating a wide range of conditions that affect the ears, nose, throat, and related structures. Thanks to their expertise, these specialists can provide comprehensive care for patients with various ENT-related issues.