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Ear Diseases

Widely regarded as one of the best ENT doctor in Singapore, Dr Dennis Chua sees many patients with ear diseases.

Hole in the ear drum

Chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM) is a chronic inflammation of the middle ear. Clinical features includes recurrent otorrhoea through a tympanic (ear drum) perforation, with conductive hearing loss of varying severity. Treatment includes a myringoplasty which can be performed in an endoscopic manner that reduces the chance of scarring.

ear diseases

“Can I fly with a hole in the ear drum?”

Yes you can! This is a common question asked. With a hole in the ear drum, there is no longer any concern about “equalising” your ears during a flight.

Otitis Media with Effusion (“Fluid in the ear”; “Glue ears”)

The middle ear (behind the ear drum) can sometimes accumulate fluid. This can result in hearing loss/blocked sensation, ear ache and if infection sets in, acute otitis media occurs. The cause of this is frequently due to inability of the eustachian tube to equalise pressure and allow the middle ear fluid to be drained out. Frequently there may be concomitant sinusitis and patient may also experience nasal congestion. The cause of the ear fluid is therefore actually from the nose. Treatment include antibiotics to treat the sinus infection and nasal decongestants to help the fluid drain out.

ear diseases

Vertigo (Giddiness)

Dr Dennis Chua is a highly trained ENT doctor that sees many patients with vertigo.

Benign positional paroxysmal vertigo is one of the commonest reason for vertigo. Vertigo (Dizziness) is a disabling condition which can result in falls. Fortunately as its name suggests, it is a benign condition and that is dependent on the position of the head. Turning the head sideways or upwards can stimulate the onset of this giddiness. Uncommonly there can be a history of head trauma or upper respiratory tract infection. It is paroxysmal which means it occurs in an episodic manner intermittently over the next few days. Even after recovery, patient may still experience light-headedness which can persist for weeks. As such, it is important to take precautions not to put oneself in precarious situations such as climbing a ladder or swimming till the condition resolves as the relapse of vertigo can occur. A Dix-Hallpike can diagnose this condition acutely and an Epley’s maneuver can help reposition the otoliths (“small stones”) that was “dislodged” within the inner ear.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere's disease is a disorder of the inner ear that results in spinning (vertigo) sensation with a fluctuating hearing loss and a roaring ringing in the ear (tinnitus) with sometimes a feeling of fullness or pressure in your ear. This is a condition associated with abnormal amount of fluid in the inner ear (endolymph). Factors that may contribute to this includes: improper fluid drainage from the inner ear, allergies, Abnormal immune response, viral infection, genetic predisposition, head trauma, migraines. As the vertigo can occur anytime, this can be distressing for the patient. Permanent hearing loss can also result in disability and additional anxiety for the patient.

Diagnosis

Dr Dennis Chua will conduct an exam and take a medical history. A diagnosis of Meniere's disease requires:

  • Two episodes of vertigo, each lasting 20 minutes or longer but not longer than 24 hours
  • Hearing loss verified by a hearing test
  • Tinnitus or a feeling of fullness in your ear
  • Exclusion of other known causes of these problems

Hearing assessment

A hearing test (audiometry) assesses how well you detect sounds at different pitches and volumes and how well you distinguish between similar-sounding words. People with Meniere's disease typically have problems hearing low frequencies or combined high and low frequencies with normal hearing in the mid frequencies.

Balance test

This test can be done in selected individuals.

Treatment

Several medications exist to control the disease. Occasional use of a hearing aid or even the Meniett device may be necessary.

Other ear conditions that we manage commonly:

  • Hearing loss
  • Ear wax
  • Eustachian tube dysfunction
  • Otitis media
  • Otitis externa

Click here to download American Academy Guidelines on wax prevention.

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Phone: (65) 6235 3886
Fax: (65) 6235 4243

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Monday to Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

 
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