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Sinus Specialist in Singapore

Dr. Dennis Chua is widely regarded as one of the most experienced ENT specialists to manage complex nose and sinus conditions. Starting his career in the medical field under ENT and Facial surgery, Dr. Dennis has expanded his knowledge and experience in treating various medical conditions concerning the ears, nose, and throat, specialising in nasal and sinus treatment. As a sinus specialist who often handles sinus problems due to the effects of Singapore’s climate on the upper respiratory tract, Dr. Dennis has developed extensive experience in handling these conditions. As a sinus specialist, Dr. Dennis has been providing treatment for patients suffering from common and chronic sinus conditions alike. He also offers affordable sinus operation costs in our clinic at Mount Elizabeth.

What is sinusitis (sinus infection)?

Nose & Sinus Conditions

Sinusitis is one of the most common conditions being treated by sinus specialists in Singapore. It is an inflammation, or swelling, of the tissue lining the sinuses. Normally, the sinuses are filled with air. But when they become blocked and filled with fluid, germs (bacteria, viruses, and fungi) can grow and cause an infection. Conditions that can cause sinus blockage include the common cold, allergic rhinitis (swelling of the lining of the nose), nasal polyps (small growths in that lining), or a deviated septum (a shift in the nasal cavity).

What are the common signs and symptoms of sinusitis?

Patients with sinusitis frequently present with yellowish-green nasal discharge with nasal congestion, fever, headaches, or even facial pain (particularly around the eyes, nose, and forehead). It is important to differentiate allergic rhinitis from sinusitis since they can be very similar in presentation. In severe cases of sinusitis, they can have hyposmia (decreased sense of smell) or even anosmia (total loss of sense of smell).

Other common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Bad breath (halitosis) or a bad taste in the mouth
  • Cough
  • Ear pressure or pain
  • Postnasal drip (mucus dripping down the throat)
  • Pressure or pain in the teeth
  • Stuffy nose
  • Tiredness

These symptoms are often caused by allergens, bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Specific triggers include:

  • Haemophilus influenza bacteria
  • Moraxella catarrhalis bacteria
  • Nasal and seasonal allergies
  • Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria
  • The common cold
  • The flu (influenza)

How is sinusitis diagnosed?

Those who suspect they have sinusitis can consult a sinus specialist for a diagnosis based on their symptoms and health history. The doctor will inspect the patient’s ears, nose, and throat for signs of blockage, draining, or swelling. They may also use an endoscope (a small, lighted instrument) to look inside the patient’s nose.

If necessary, the sinus specialist might recommend that patients undergo specific tests to diagnose sinusitis. These examinations include:

  • Allergy testing – The specialist may test the patient for allergies that could trigger chronic sinusitis.
  • Biopsy – In rare cases, the specialist may obtain a tissue sample from the patient’s nose for analysis.
  • Imaging – The patient may be requested to undergo a computed tomography (CT) scan to better understand what happens inside their sinuses.
  • Nasal endoscopy – The specialist will insert an endoscope (a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera) into the patient’s nose to get a clear, inside view of their sinuses and nasal passages.
  • Nasal swabs – The specialist utilises a soft-tipped stick to obtain a fluid sample from the patient’s nose. Subsequently, they will test the sample for viruses or other germs that might cause symptoms of sinusitis.

How is sinusitis treated?

Most sinusitis cases are minor, with sinusitis treatments only involving medications. The doctor will prescribe medications, like antihistamines, if they think the sinusitis is triggered by uncontrolled allergies. Conversely, the doctor may provide antibiotics if they believe a bacterial infection is to blame for the sinusitis. The doctor may also recommend over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications, like ibuprofen, to ease discomfort.

In a small proportion of cases, the sinus specialist may recommend sinus surgery (Functional endoscopic sinus surgery – FESS) to relieve the condition and wash out the pus. Meanwhile, Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) is a safe and effective sinus procedure for chronic sinusitis patients seeking relief from uncomfortable sinus pain symptoms. In selected cases, these can be performed in the clinic. Visit our website to enquire about sinus operation costs.

Nasal polyps with loss of smell

Dr. Dennis Chua is an accomplished ENT specialist that has managed several patients with anosmia (loss of smell) or hyposmia (decreased smell).

MRI Showing Before and After Sinus Treatment for Anosmia

Nasal polyps are benign lumps in the nose that can result in anosmia (loss of smell) or hyposmia (decreased sensation of smell). Anosmia/hyposmia can result in sensation of taste whilst eating and this can result in a decrease in quality of life for the individual. These polyps can be safely removed via a functional endoscopic sinus surgery under IGS (Image Guided Surgery) to improve the safety and greatly reduce complication rate.

Sinus Conditions We Treat


This is a common reason for nasal congestion in Singapore. The high humidity results in high prevalence of house dust mites and molds which stimulate an allergic reaction resulting in swollen inferior turbinates. A swollen inferior turbinate frequently result in nasal obstruction and excessive production of mucus which can lead to postnasal drip and throat symptoms. A simple skin prick test can test for possible aero-allergens that result in a swollen inferior turbinate. Allergen avoidance is key in managing this condition and can help avoid long term reliance on nasal medications.

Inferior Turbinate can be treated by a Sinus Specialist

Allergic Rhinitis

Dr. Dennis Chua is an experienced ENT and sinus specialist who manages nasal allergies. Allergic rhinitis is a very common condition in Singapore due to the high humidity. Common allergens include house dust mites and mould (fungi) in Singapore. If tested positive, there are several measures to help reduce exposure to these allergens to help treat the condition. A Skin Prick Test (SPT) is a painless procedure that can be performed quickly in the clinic and the results can be interpreted within 30 minutes. Our clinic offers nasal and sinus treatment under the direct care of our sinus specialist.

Sinonasal tumors

Nasal tumours can be either benign or malignant. The most common benign nasal tumour is an inverted papilloma. Though benign, this tumour is locally invasive (and thus can erode into the surrounding vital structures such as the eye and brain) and has a 10% chance of turning malignant (cancer). If it occludes the opening of the sinus ostium, it can also result in recurrent infections (sinusitis) which is a common condition seen by our sinus specialist. This tumour will have to be removed completely by a sinus specialist and the stalk of the tumour traced to ensure that it is completely eradicated, minimising any chances of recurrence.

Sinonasal Tumors Treatment

Although tumours of the nasal cavities are equally divided between benign and malignant types, most tumours of the paranasal sinuses are malignant. Approximately 55% of sinonasal tumours originate from the maxillary sinuses, 35% from the nasal cavities, 9% from the ethmoid sinuses, and the remainder from the frontal and sphenoid sinuses. Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common malignant histologic type (approximately 70-80%), followed by adenoid cystic carcinoma and adenocarcinoma (approximately 10% each). The nasal and sinus treatment for this will be more aggressive and usually includes a combination of surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Schedule an appointment with our sinus specialist for proper treatment.

Nasal Trauma

As a nasal and sinus specialist, Dr. Dennis Chua is widely regarded as one of the most experienced ENT doctors to manage nasal trauma. He is one of the few ENT Surgeons that is board certified by the International Board of Facial Plastics & Reconstructive Surgery, and is skilful enough to manage complex nose & sinus conditions. The nose is the most common site traumatised on the face due to its prominence. A nasal septal hematoma (blood clot) is a feared complication that should be picked up as soon as possible after a nasal injury, and the hematoma should be evacuated within 12 hours due to the potential of septal cartilage necrosis. Nasal septal cartilage necrosis can result in a saddle nose deformity with nasal obstruction. The critical window for a closed nasal reduction for the treatment of the nasal fracture is before 2 weeks in adults and before 1 week in pediatric patients. The treatment for persistent nasal deformities beyond 1 month after injury may require the sinus specialist to conduct a functional septorhinoplasty to treat the nasal deformity and ensure a patent nasal passage for breathing. The nose is frequently traumatised in facial injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents, sports-related injuries and altercations. When the injury is significant, this can result in nasal fractures with accompanying nasal deformity. There are 2 main problems that nasal trauma can result in: a nasal septal hematoma or nasal fracture with nasal obstruction, or nasal deformities. Click here for the Management of Nasal Fracture article, or inquire about sinus operation costs through our contact page.

Nasal Septal Hematoma

A nasal septal hematoma is one of the most feared complication that can occur with nasal trauma. Though uncommon, a septal hematoma can lead to complications such as septal abscess, septal perforation, cartilage necrosis with potential saddle nose deformity if the diagnosis is delayed. A nasal septal hematoma can be usually diagnosed with a careful clinical examination using a good light source with a nasal speculum. A fluctuant reddish-blue swelling can be noted on the anterior part of the nasal septum drainage of the hematoma should be performed urgently to prevent complications as mentioned above.

Nasal Septal Hematoma Treatment

Nasal Fracture

A nasal fracture can be diagnosed clinically if there is gross deviation of the nose from its pre-injury appearance. An x-ray though frequently performed may not be always necessary as it does not change the management. First aid measures:

  • If the nose is bleeding, digital pressure over the soft fleshy part of the nose on its lower half can be applied for 15 minutes to slow down bleeding.
  • The head should be tilted forward during this time to prevent aspiration of the blood into the lungs.
  • Place ice wrapped in a cloth or a bag of frozen peas over the nose for about 15 minutes at a time. This process can be repeated hourly throughout the day. Using ice packs at the time of injury and for 1-2 days afterward helps to reduce pain, swelling and reduce nose bleeds. Take breaks between applications, and do not apply the ice directly to the skin.
  • Take paracetamol or NSAIDS to reduce pain. The pain is usually worse in the first 5 days after the injury.
  • Nasal decongestant such as oxymetazoline can be used to help with the nasal obstruction. However these should not be used beyond 5 days.
  • Elevate the head, especially when sleeping, to avoid increased swelling of the nose. Prop the head up with pillows or lift the head of the bed by placing large blocks or phone books under the mattress.
  • A closed nasal reduction can be attempted within 3 hours of injury before swelling sets in or between 3 days to 14 days when the swelling has improved. This helps in the evaluation of the precise nasal deformity the patient is suffering from. This procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia and is frequently painless. (Figure 1) A satisfying “click” can usually be felt or even heard when the nasal fracture is pushed back in place. There is usually increased swelling over the nose and some periorbital bruising may sometimes occur post nasal reduction. Some small amount of nose bleeds is usually expected in the first 48 hours after a nasal reduction. A nasal cast is usually applied for the next 1 week to protect the reduced nasal fragments. It is important that the patient avoids all contact sports (eg basketball, football) for the next 6 weeks following a closed nasal reduction till the nasal fragments are healed in place.

Epistaxis (Nose bleeds)

Nosebleed Sinus Treatments

The commonest reason for nose bleeds will be from trauma (eg from digging the nose). Certain conditions such as allergic rhinitis can predispose to epistaxis as the inflamed nasal lining are prone to bleeding after contact.

Dr Dennis Chua Latest Book Publication!

Dr. Dennis Chua latest publication in a book chapter on Complications of Sinusitis

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    Phone: (65) 6235 3886
    Fax: (65) 6235 4243
    Email: enquiry@entsurgeons.com.sg

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    Saturday: 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

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