An otolaryngologist is a specialist who helps in diagnosing and treating ailments related to ear, nose and throat disorders. ENT disorders are common ailments which individuals go through and there are many signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for.

The specialist doctors at the ENT Clinic in Singapore cater to both adult and paediatric ENT disorders. The facility has renowned ENT specialists who are friendly, experienced, and qualified. Listed below are five factors that warrant a visit to your ENT doctor.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are more common in kids than adults, however, adults too are susceptible to certain types of ear infections, and these signal deeper health problems. Unlike ear infections in children, adult ear infections tend to be prolonged. Thus, one must pay close attention to the symptoms and visit an otolaryngologist when needed.

Corresponding to the three main parts of the ear, one can have inner, middle or outer ear infections. Inner ear infections could cause inflammation. In addition, other symptoms could be dizziness and nausea. It may even point towards a case of meningitis. Middle ear infections are referred to as otitis media and are caused due to the excess fluid being trapped behind the eardrum. Middle ear infections can cause fever and you might have trouble hearing until the infection clears off. Outer ear infections can cause the ear flaps to become red, tender and itchy.

Ear infections are mostly due to bacteria and they might originate due to respiratory tract problems commonly brought about when infections move down through the Eustachian tube. Outer ear infections are mostly due to swimmer’s ear.

Visiting an ENT doctor on time is important to treat your ear infection. If your sole symptom is an earache, then you may stay for a day or two just to see if it settles on its own. However, if you are running a fever or have trouble hearing and the pain intensifies and prolongs, then you should consult a physician without second thoughts. The doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops for a bacterial ear infection to help clear up the infection.

Sleep Apnea

This is a serious sleep disorder where breathing stops intermittently. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common cause where the throat muscles relax during sleep. It’s very important to have a timely intervention for sleep apnea as delayed treatment can lead to heart attacks and other complications. Some of the signs to watch out for include loud snoring, breathing pauses while sleeping, morning headaches, insomnia, dry mouth on awakening and gasping for air when asleep. There could be personality changes too, with more irritation and anxiety due to daytime mood swings.

If your partner complains that you snore loudly, then it is best to talk to an ENT physician to rule out sleep apnea. After a sleep test, your doctor will be able to confirm if you have sleep apnea or not. If you are diagnosed with the condition, then your doctor will talk to you about losing weight. If you are obese or let you know it’s best to stop on drugs and alcohol usage. Older males are particularly at a higher risk of contracting this condition. Once diagnosed, there are many treatment methods to control the condition to suit your lifestyle. An experienced ENT physician will be able to guide you through.

Allergic Sinusitis

This condition is more common in early childhood and is a reaction that occurs when exposed to smoke, dust and pollen. Individuals who have a family history of allergic rhinitis are more sensitive to this condition. Allergic symptoms develop when exposed to allergens. It could be an acute condition or a chronic case if it lasts for more than 8 weeks. The usual symptoms include nasal congestion, headaches and itchy nose, eyes and throat. Reduced sense of smell and taste may also be present with sleep problems.

Your ENT doctor will be able to diagnose your condition, by taking a detailed medical history and performing a medical examination. Through an allergy skin test, the type of allergen can be identified and your doctor will advise you to stay away from the allergen whenever possible. As avoiding these allergens is not always possible, your doctor will prescribe decongestants and a desensitization therapy if needed. Over-the-counter medications are available for one-off episodes. When medications are not working to cure allergic sinusitis, then surgery may be suggested. At times abnormalities in the structure of the sinuses could cause a nasal blockage leading to this recurrent condition.

Hoarseness in Voice

The hoarseness in voice is an abnormal voice change. When there is hoarseness in voice, it could be difficult to breathe, voice could be strained or there could be changes in the vocal volume. There could be many causes that cause hoarseness. Acute laryngitis is one reason. It can cause swelling in the throat and could occur due to an upper respiratory infection. Occasionally, it could be due to excessive voice use, for instance screaming. Vocal nodules are common in kids who raise their voice when playing. One of the other causes is gastro-oesophageal reflux which can cause stomach acid to come up into the food tube or oesophagus irritating the vocal cords. When this happens one can have a sensation of a lump in the throat and a need to clear the throat constantly. This could get worse in the morning. Smokers have a higher chance of getting a hoarse voice. Trauma in the voice box is another cause of voice hoarseness. It is important to visit an ENT physician if you notice that your voice has changed abruptly. Very rarely it could be due to a malignancy too.

Your ENT doctor will conduct a physical examination along with additional tests to find the cause of the hoarseness in voice and rule out the presence of a malignancy or not.


Sore throats are quite common in people and at times it is not just the tonsils but adenoids too that can get infected. The adenoids are a mass of tissue that lie alongside the tonsils, helping in producing antibodies to fight body infections. Bacterial infections can occur in the adenoids which are caused by recurring respiratory infections leading to difficulty in breathing. X-rays may be needed to see the adenoids more clearly than through a physical examination by an ENT doctor.

Adenoiditis can vary depending on the infection and can occur due to a stuffy nose, sore throat, ear pain and swollen glands. Symptoms include speaking with a nasal sound, mouth breathing and difficulty breathing. Your ENT doctor may prescribe antibiotics to treat the condition. If there are recurrent infections, then surgery may be needed to remove the adenoids and this is called adenoidectomy.

These are just five of the common ENT ailments. Should you need assistance in treating any ENT disorder, while traveling to Singapore or if you are a resident, then the specialist at The ENT Clinic should be your primary choice. Located conveniently at Gleneagles Hospital and Mt Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre, the ENT clinic is an award-winning ENT medical practice.