Patient’s Guide When Seeking an ENT Specialist in Singapore

Explore the world of ear, nose, and throat (ENT) healthcare in Singapore in this helpful guide. Let’s delve into otorhinolaryngology (also known as otolaryngology) and understand the role and expertise of ENT doctors. Discover common ENT problems, their symptoms, and impacts.
Dr Dennis Chua - ENT Specialist in Singapore - Complete Guide

Knowing when to seek the professional advice of an ENT doctor is critical for effective treatment. Find out the essential questions to ask an ENT specialist during a visit and be empowered with knowledge for proactive ENT care.

Otorhinolaryngologist: Your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor

An otolaryngologist, commonly known as an ENT doctor, is a healthcare expert trained in diagnosing and treating ear, nose, and throat disorders. Their educational journey typically includes five to six years of specialised training following medical school, covering a wide array of conditions related to ENT. This extensive preparation enables them to offer thorough care to patients.

ENT doctors specialise in various subfields of their discipline. Some concentrate on paediatric ENT, while others may focus on head and neck surgery, otology (ear disorders), rhinology (nose disorders), or facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Read: Understanding the Role of an ENT Doctor: A Guide to Seeing a Specialist in Singapore

ENT specialist Dr Dennis Chua, educated at the National University of Singapore and trained in Otorhinolaryngology, furthered his expertise in the UK and USA, earning international recognition in Facial Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr Chua is an international member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He currently hosts the annual Paediatric Ear Course in Singapore, focusing on improving ENT care standards. Dr Chua adopts a holistic, detail-oriented approach in his practise, emphasising patient-centred care in his ENT clinic in Singapore.

Anatomy of the Ear, Nose, and Throat

To better understand how our ENT system works, take a look at the anatomy of the ear, nose, and throat.

Dr Dennis Chua Articles - Anatomy of the Ear
ENT Surgeons Medical Centre - Anatomy of Nose - Infographics
ENT Surgeons Medical Centre - Anatomy of Throat - Infographics

Common ENT problems in Singapore

ENT doctors are trained to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat. Here are some common ENT conditions they address:

Ear Conditions:

  • Ear infections: Can cause pain, fluid build-up, and hearing loss.
  • Hearing loss: Can be conductive, sensorineural, and mixed hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus: Characterised by a ringing, buzzing, or hissing sound in the ears.

Nose Conditions:

  • Sinusitis: Can cause facial pain, congestion, and nasal discharge.
  • Allergic rhinitis: Characterised by sneezing, itchy and runny nose, and red watery eyes.
  • Deviated septum: Can cause breathing difficulties and recurrent sinus infections.
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea: Can be a result of upper airway obstruction.

Throat Conditions:

  • Tonsillitis: Can result in sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and recurrent infections.
  • Laryngitis: Can cause hoarseness, throat pain, and voice changes.
  • Vocal cord disorders: Can affect speech and voice quality.
Dr Dennis Chua - 4 Common ENT Problems Treated in Singapore

Let’s take a closer look at Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is a common health issue affecting people globally. According to data from the Singapore Health Study, an estimated 30.5% of Singaporeans have moderate to severe OSA.

OSA could be a potentially serious sleep disorder because breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Common symptoms are loud snoring, excessive daytime fatigue, irritability, and often waking up during the night.

When do you need to see an ENT Doctor?

There are certain ENT conditions that require specialised care. If you experience the following, consider scheduling an appointment with an ENT doctor:

  • Recurrent ear infections or persistent ear pain
  • Hearing loss or sudden changes in hearing
  • Chronic sinus problems or nasal congestion
  • Chronic or recurrent sore throat
  • Persistent hoarseness or voice changes
  • Tonsil-related issues
  • Balance or dizziness problems related to the ears

What are the costs related to visiting an ENT clinic?

Going to an ENT clinic in Singapore is crucial for diagnosing and managing different ENT issues. However, it’s important to consider the possible costs involved with these visits.

It’s advisable to inquire directly with ENT clinics about specific costs and insurance coverage options. Keep in mind the balance between the quality of care and the expenses when selecting an ENT clinic in Singapore. It’s important to ensure you receive the best treatment that is affordable for you.

Check out this infographic on the factors that impact the cost of an ENT visit in Singapore:

Dr Dennis Chua - ENT Specialist in Singapore - How Much Does it Cost to Visit an ENT Clinic in Singapore- Infographic

Questions to ask an ENT specialist

During your consultation, don’t hesitate to ask questions, especially if doing so can provide you peace of mind. Here are a few questions you may ask your ENT doctor during a consultation:
1. Qualifications
  • Can you share your medical background and where you received your medical degree?
  • Are you board-certified in Otorhinolaryngology (ENT)? If so, which board-certifying body issued your certification?
  • Have you pursued additional training or fellowships in a specific subspecialty of ENT?
2. Experience
  • Can you give some examples of cases similar to mine that you have previously treated?
  • Could you provide information on your success rates and potential complications for the specific treatment or surgery I may need?
  • Have you ever encountered challenging or complex cases in your practice, and how did you approach them?
3. Approach and Communication
  • What treatment options would you recommend for my condition, and can you explain the pros and cons of each?
  • Are there any potential risks associated with the recommended treatment, and how do you mitigate them?
  • What outcomes can I reasonably expect from the proposed treatment, and what is the typical recovery process?
  • Is there anything else I need to know about my treatment options and potential outcomes?
4. Facilities
  • Can you describe the facilities and equipment available at the clinic or hospital where I’ll be receiving treatment?
  • Do you have access to diagnostic tools such as endoscopy or imaging equipment to aid in the diagnosis and treatment planning?
  • Are there any minimally invasive procedures that you offer for ENT conditions?
  • What measures do you have in place to maintain a high standard of infection control in your practice or healthcare facility?

Importance of ENT tests in detecting hearing issues early

Hearing tests are evaluations designed to assess the functioning of our auditory system. These tests are crucial in the early detection of potential hearing problems.
There are two types of hearing tests:
  • Pure-tone Audiometry
  • Speech Audiometry

ENT specialists choose between pure-tone and speech audiometry based on factors such as the patient’s age, medical history, and specific hearing concerns.

Timely intervention can lead to more favourable outcomes that is why it is important to detect hearing issues early. ENT specialists administer these tests, equipped with the expertise and instruments needed to diagnose and offer guidance for hearing concerns. With the proper diagnosis, your ENT doctor can best guide you on the effective management of your condition.

What you need to know before an ENT surgery

ENT surgeries play an important role in improving the quality of life for many patients suffering from ear, nose, or throat conditions. Before undergoing a procedure, here’s what you need to know.

Prior to undergoing any ENT operation, the initial step is arranging a consultation with a trusted ENT specialist. The ENT doctor will review your medical history and perform a physical examination to determine the extent and nature of your condition. Additional diagnostic procedures and imaging might be recommended to get detailed information into your particular situation.

Factors that affect the duration of an ENT surgery:
  • Complexity and type of procedure – Simple procedures like a myringotomy (draining fluid trapped in the middle ear) may only take around 15 minutes, while more complex surgeries like a thyroidectomy (thyroid gland removal) can last for several hours.
  • Patient’s overall health condition – A healthier individual may have a smoother and quicker recovery compared to someone with underlying health issues.
  • Anaesthesia considerations – General anaesthesia may be required for more invasive procedures, which could add to the overall time of the surgery.
When it comes to expected post-surgery recovery time, keep in mind that some surgeries require longer post-operative care and recovery periods. This consideration should be factored in when determining the overall duration of the ENT surgery experience. See this infographic for guidance on having a smooth recovery:
Dr Dennis Chua - ENT Specialist in Singapore - Tips for a Smooth Recovery - ENT Surgery

ENT Paediatric: Prevention and treatment of ENT issues in children

As parents, we want to safeguard our children’s well-being, including their ear, nose, and throat health. It is not uncommon for children to have ENT problems. However, these issues can cause pain and discomfort in kids, which can impact their daily lives.

Recognising the signs that indicate a need for an ENT specialist can be crucial in preventing long-term complications.

Here are five common signs that your child may need to see an ENT doctor:
  • 1. Recurrent ear infections
  • 2. Persistent sore throat or tonsillitis
  • 3. Breathing difficulties or snoring
  • 4. Nasal congestion or chronic sinusitis
  • 5. Hearing loss or delayed speech development
If you notice any of these symptoms in your child, do not hesitate to contact an ENT specialist. Early detection and treatment are paramount in ensuring your child’s development is on track.

Maintaining good ENT health

ENT issues are common in Singapore, but with proper care, they can be effectively managed or even prevented. Keep in mind that maintaining good ENT health is an essential part of your overall well-being. So don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with an ENT specialist if you are experiencing symptoms of ear, nose, and throat problems.

Book an appointment with ENT Specialist Dr Dennis Chua today.

If you have questions or concerns about your ears, nose, and throat,
you may book a consultation with Dr Dennis Chua, an ENT specialist in Singapore.
He has completed his training in otorhinolaryngology locally and attained qualifications internationally.