HK ENT Specialist
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Surgical Procedures and Radiation Therapy Options for Acoustic Neuroma

An acoustic neuroma refers to the noncancerous growth that develops on the vestibulocochlear nerve. This is also called the eighth cranial nerve and it connects the inner ear with the brain. These tumors typically grow slowly over a period of years, which is why your ENT doctor generally observes the condition at first to ascertain the best course of treatment.

However, the treatment may be necessary eventually because the tumor can grow and push on the brain. As the tumor becomes bigger, it can press on the nearby cranial nerves which control the muscles for facial expression and sensation. If the tumor becomes large enough, it can press on the brain stem and this can be life-threatening.

 

Surgery

The ENT doctor can recommend surgery, which may involve removing all or part of the tumor. Removing the acoustic neuroma may be undertaken using any of the 3 main surgical approaches.

 

Translabyrinthine

This surgical procedure has the surgeon making an incision behind the ear and then removing the bone behind the ear and some of the middle ear. This procedure is used for tumors when they grow larger than 3 centimeters.

The advantage of this technique is that it lets the facial nerve clearly before the removal of the tumor. However, the drawback of this approach is that the patient ends up with permanent hearing loss.

 

Retrosigmoid / Sub-occipital

This involves opening the skull near the back of the head to expose the back of the tumor. This technique can be used for removing tumors of any size and it also offers the chance of preserving hearing.

 

Middle Fossa

In this procedure, the surgeon removes a small piece of bone above the ear canal to reach and remove the small tumors confined to the internal auditory canal. This canal is the narrow passageway from the brain to the middle and inner ear. Using this procedure may enable the surgeon to preserve the patient’s hearing as well.

 

Radiation Therapy

In some cases, the ENT doctor may recommend radiation therapy for the acoustic neuroma. The doctor can deliver high doses of radiation to the tumor while limiting the exposure and damage to surrounding tissue using advanced modern delivery techniques.

Radiation therapy for acoustic neuroma can be delivered in one of two ways.

 

SRS (Single Fraction Stereotactic Radiosurgery)

In SRS, the doctor aims many hundreds of small beams of radiation at the tumor in just a single session.

 

FRS (Multi-Session Fractionated Stereotactic Radiotherapy)

The ENT doctor delivers smaller doses of radiation daily, usually over a period of several weeks. Some studies indicate that multi-session therapy may be better at preserving the hearing than SRS.

Both ways are outpatient procedures, with patients not required to stay at the hospital. The radiation therapy kills the tumor cells and the growth of the tumor may stop or slow down. It may even shrink, but the tumor isn’t completely removed.

 

If you suffer acoustic neuroma, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for details of the treatment.

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Home Remedies You Can Try for Mild Earache

It’s always best to see an ENT doctor if you have an earache. This is obvious when the pain is severe, as you should really seek medical attention right away. An ENT doctor can determine the cause of the pain and recommend a treatment.

 

When the pain has become mild or when you’re waiting for the doctor’s treatment to remove the pain completely, you can alleviate the pain with the following home remedies.

 

Hot Pack (or Electric Heating Pad)

The heat can reduce inflammation and pain in your ear. Just make sure that the heating pad isn’t too hot. Children shouldn’t use a hot pack without adult supervision, and no one should fall asleep with a heating pad.

You can apply the hot pack to your ear for about 20 minutes. You can also try touching the hot pad to your neck and throat.

 

Cold Pack

The cold pack shouldn’t be too cold that it causes pain when applied. You should also never try applying the ice to the skin of children.

You can wrap ice in paper towels or freeze a cold pack and then cover it with a light cloth. Hold it to the affected ear and the area right under the ear for about 2o minutes.

For some people, the best method is to apply the hot and cold packs alternately. Start with 20 minutes with the hot pack, and then follow it up with the cold pack.

 

Gentle Massage

If the earache is causing a tension headache or there’s pain from the teeth or jaw, you may want to try massaging the tender area. You can also massage the surrounding muscles.

If your doctor says you have an ear infection, you can massage just behind the ears and down the neck using a downward motion. You can continue applying pressure as you work forward to the front of the ears.

 

Cough Drops or Hard Candy

It’s not really the hard candy or the cough drops that will offer some relief. It’s actually the sucking you do on these things that can reduce the pressure in the Eustachian tubes in your ear.

 

Pain Reliever

You can ask your ENT doctor if you can try naproxen, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen to relieve the pain. You really do have to speak to a doctor first before you give these types of medications to young children, especially if they’re younger than 2 years old. These medications can cause serious side effects in young children, and the doctor can set the proper dosage for them.

As ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT treatment.

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Who Can Get Otosclerosis?

Otosclerosis is supposed to be a rare condition, but it affects more than 3 million people in the US alone. This condition can cause hearing loss and it starts when a small bone in the middle ear gets stuck in place. This bone is usually the one called the stapes. The bone tissue grows around the stapes improperly, which keeps the stapes from vibrating. This in turn prevents sound from traveling from the middle ear to the inner ear, so you’re unable to hear well.

 

Not even the medical experts know for certain what causes otosclerosis. This makes it more difficult to determine the chances of a person getting this condition. However, the researchers in this field have collected several statistics and trends regarding the risk factors for the problem:

 

  • People can develop this medical condition when they’re between the ages of 10 and 45 years old. But for the most part, patients are more likely to develop otosclerosis while they’re in their 20s. However, the symptoms are the worst when they’re in their 30s.
  • There may be a genetic component, as this can run in families. About half of all patients who develop otosclerosis have a gene that is associated with the condition. However, having this particular gene doesn’t necessarily mean that the person will develop the condition.
  • This medical condition can affect both men and women. However, more women than men develop this problem. In addition, women who develop otosclerosis during their pregnancy tend to lose their hearing faster, compared to the men and the women who weren’t pregnant when they had this problem.
  • The condition is most prevalent among Caucasians, as almost 105 of that racial group can develop the problem. It’s not as common in the other racial groups, and it’s very rare for African-Americans.
  • If a person had measles at any time in their life, it probably increased their chances of developing otosclerosis.
  • The condition is also more likely to develop in a person who has stress fractures to the bony tissue around their inner ear.
  • Immune disorders, in which the immune system of a patient attacks part of the patient’s body by mistake, have also been linked to otosclerosis.

 

If you do get otosclerosis, at least you have treatment options. If the case is mild, the otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor, or ENT doctor) may take a slow approach while testing your hearing regularly. A hearing aid may also be recommended. However, serious cases may require surgery. This may help, but like all surgical procedures it has risks as well.

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

What To Do After Undergoing Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty is a surgical procedure that repairs a hole in the eardrum. If you’ve undergone this procedure, here’s a list of what you need to do (and not to do) when you’re at home during your recovery period:

 

  1. For the next 2 to 4 weeks, you’re not supposed to do anything strenuous. These activities include aerobic or weightlifting workouts, riding a bike, or even jogging. Wait until your ENT doctor gives you the go signal to resume these activities.
  2. You shouldn’t even lift anything that can strain you during this time. That means you can’t carry heavy bags or a child.
  3. Avoid activities such as swimming, scuba diving, or flying in an airplane. Don’t play contact sports as well. All these activities can keep your eardrum from healing properly. Your doctor can tell you when you can start doing these things.
  4. Don’t drive either until your doctor says you can.
  5. If you feel tired, just rest. Don’t overexert yourself.
  6. Get enough sleep as well, as this can help you recover. During the first week after the procedure, use 2 or 3 pillows to prop your head up when you sleep. You can also try sleeping in a reclining chair as well (especially for naps).
  7. You should try to walk every day. At first, you can walk a little distance. Then each day you can walk just a little bit farther. The walking you do can boost your blood flow and it can also help prevent constipation and pneumonia.
  8. Don’t do any sudden head movements for the first 2 or 3 days after the tympanoplasty. Don’t bend over during this time either. You’ll feel dizzy if you do.
  9. Don’t blow your nose until your doctor says it’s alright to do so.
  10. For the next 3 months, don’t get water into your ear. Taking a bath is alright, but not taking a shower unless you can wear a cap that fully covers your ears. When you do take a bath, use a cotton ball lightly coated with petroleum jelly to plug your ears so the water can’t get in.
  11. If you have to wear earplugs, use only what your ENT doctor recommends.
  12. You can get back to work after a week or two, after your ENT doctor says it’s okay. However, if your job requires heavy lifting or some sort of strenuous activity, you may need to take 2 to 4 weeks off.
  13. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  14. Take some fiber supplements. These can help with the irregular movements that are common after undergoing surgery.

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Best 9 Ways to Avoid Having a Perforated Eardrum

Even the term “perforated eardrum” can make you wince, doesn’t it?  Your eardrum has a hole or a tear, and that’s a description that makes you want to avoid it at all costs. It starts with pain that can increase until it suddenly decreases, but there’s also hearing loss, tinnitus, drainage from the ear, and vertigo to worry about.

 

Thankfully, this is a problem that you can prevent as long as you’re very careful. Heeding these tips can help as well:

 

  1. If you notice any signs of an ear infection, get yourself to a doctor quickly. An ear infection can cause fluid or pus to build up behind your eardrum. With enough pressure, the eardrum can burst open.
  2. Don’t stick anything deep inside your ears. This is good advice, even if you want to clean your ears. The cotton swabs you use to poke into your ear may instead poke right through your eardrum.
  3. If you do manage to get something stuck inside your ear, get to a clinic and have it removed by a healthcare professional. Don’t try to get the thing out yourself, as you may just end up damaging your eardrum.
  4. If you have a cold or a sinus infection, avoid flying on an airplane or driving on a mountain road. Don’t go scuba diving either. These activities can cause sudden changes in pressure for your ears that can rupture your eardrum and the cold or sinus infection can just make it worse.
  5. If you really have to fly with a sinus condition, chew a bit of gum during the takeoff and landing. These are the times that cause the sudden changes in temperature. You can also try swallowing or yawning to equalize the pressure in your ears. However, do NOT blow your nose while you pinch your nostrils shut. This is not recommended at all.
  6. If you’re going to go scuba diving, get yourself certified. This means you’ve learned your lessons well so you know how to equalize the pressure in your ears. You’ll also know not to go scuba diving if you have a cold, a sinus infection, or an ear infection.
  7. Cover your ears or use ear plugs if you know you’re going to be exposed to loud noises. Do this if you’re in a firing range or you’re using a noise lawnmower or construction drill.
  8. Stay away from the speakers in a club or live concert.
  9. Drive carefully and protect yourself during sports. During these times you can get into an accident and suffer head trauma that can tear the eardrum.

 

As ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT doctor for the appropriate ENT services and treatment.

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Types of Speech Therapies for the Most Common Speech-Language Disorders

If you or your child has a speech-language disorder, a speech-language pathologist (SLP or just speech therapist) can tailor the speech therapy to suit the particular circumstances. Here are the most common disorders that can be treated by a type of speech therapy:

Late Talking

When your child is at an age when they should already be talking and they aren’t, a speech therapist can help. Usually the therapy involves finding the right motivation for the child to want to speak. This may include playing with the child or even withholding a favorite toy.

 

Apraxia

If your child has apraxia, they don’t find it easy to make certain sounds or say particular syllables. They know what they want to say, but it just won’t come out right.

The speech therapy for this is usually given on a one-on-one basis, and it will involve intensive practice with speech. The SLP can use visual or auditory cues to help. In some cases, the therapist may record them while speaking and this recording is played back. The child may also speak while looking at themselves in the mirror.

 

Stuttering

Usually, this is considered a behavioral problem. It normally develops during childhood, but an adult can develop this problem as well. The SLP can teach behavioral modification techniques for the patient to help them control their stuttering.

Since speaking too fast can make stuttering worse, the patient is often taught to speak more slowly. They can practice talking in a more fluent manner, while they also monitor their breathing. Follow-up sessions may be required even after treating the condition to keep the problem from recurring.

 

Aphasia

This condition often results after some type of damage to the brain resulting in speaking difficulties. The brain damage may also affect the patient’s ability to listen, read, and write. This can happen to adults after they’ve had a stroke.

The SLP can use drills to improve language skills, or use group therapy to help them with their conversational skills.

 

Swallowing Difficulties

Doctors can often treat medical conditions that can lead to swallowing difficulties, but in some cases the problem may persist. The speech therapist can help by using exercises that can improve their chewing, enhance the tongue movement, and make their mouth stronger.

The SLP can also provide input regarding the food and their consistency. The SLP can help babies with coordinating their suck-swallow-breath pattern.

 

Conclusion

These are just a sample of what a trained speech therapist can do. First they will need to diagnose the problem accurately, so that they can then come up with the custom speech therapy that can help.

 

 

As the speech problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate speech therapy .

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Top 7 Tips for Tinnitus Prevention

Tinnitus is the condition when you hear ringing or noise in your ears. It’s very annoying, and unfortunately it’s not exactly rare. It can affect up to 15 to 20 of people. It’s not really life-threatening, but why should you go through with it when you can avoid it?

 

Here are some tips that can keep tinnitus away:

  • Keep your hearing aids and earplugs clean, because they can cause infections.
  • Don’t put things in your ear if you can avoid it. Not even cotton buds are necessary, since your ears can clean themselves naturally.
  • One necessary time to use earplugs is when you’re going to be exposed to extremely loud noises. If the sound will go over 85 decibels, it will be too loud over a period of time. Some sounds are dangerous even if they only last an instant. This is why earplugs are mandatory for the gun firing range.
  • Relax and keep a healthy life balance. Learn how to manage your stress. When you’re overly stressed or anxious, you may develop tinnitus. So before you get to that point, try to learn meditation or do yoga. If you can afford it, get massages every week to de-stress. Exercise regularly and eat nutritious meals.
  • Try to get far away from audio speakers. If you’re going to a concert or a club, the spots near the speakers are the most dangerous for your ears. Don’t worry; you can still appreciate the music even when you’re a bit farther away. The same principle holds true at home when you’re listening to music. Don’t station the audio speakers right next to your ears.
  • If you’re using headphones, don’t crank up the music. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing hard rock or heavy metal songs which are meant to be played loud. Have a friend stand by your side when you’re wearing your headphones. If they can hear the music you’re playing, you’re playing the song too loud.

What you have to realize is that you generally can get used to a certain level of volume. That’s why people who learn to play music loud tend to play it loud all the time. But try to play your music at a lower volume. It may seem too quiet at the start, but soon you’ll get used to it and it will sound just fine.

 

  • Rest your ears regularly. If you’re in a noisy environment, you may get used to the sound but you’re unaware that your ears are actually stressed by the continuous barrage of noise. So let your ears rest and get out. Use mufflers if you have to, just to get to a quiet place!

 

 

As ENT problem is quite different from case to case, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT services and treatment.

 

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

Diplacusis Facts

For many people, problems with hearing are often associated simply with the inability to hear clearly. But our sense of hearing is much more complex than that, and in some cases the problems can be much more complicated. Such is the case with the type of hearing loss known as “double hearing”. Doctors call this condition diplacusis, though there are several types.

 

Types of Diplacusis

This problem happens when one ear develops more hearing loss (or a different type of hearing loss) than the other ear. There are several variations to this condition.

 

Diplacusis Dysharmonica

This is the most common type of diplacusis. It happens when you hear the sound normally in one ear, bit with your other ear the sound is at a different pitch. It’s true that each ear hears sounds at slightly different pitches all the time, and our brain just tends to regard them as the same. But in this case, you may hear very different pitches so that you hear a C note in one ear and an F# in the other ear.

 

Diplacusis Echoica

This is when the timing of tones is somewhat different in each ear. In one ear the timing is normal, in the other it comes a bit late. Because the sound in one ear comes later, that same sound seems like an echo.

 

Diplacusis Binauralis

This happens when you hear the same sound differently in each ear. One ear may perceive a sound at a different timing or a different pitch than the other. Unlike the dysharmonica or echoica variants, both ears may be hearing the pitch or abnormally.

 

Diplacusis monauralis

This is when one ear hears the same sound as two different sounds. So in this case one ear may normal, but the other ear somehow interprets a sound as 2 different sounds.

 

Causes of Diplacusis

The cause of this condition can either be due to damage to the inner ear or an obstruction in the ear. Your inner ear can be damaged when you’re suddenly hit by a deafening noise, like an artillery barrage or a loud gunshot. You can then end up with NIHL or noise-induced hearing loss.

You may also have suffered some trauma to the head that may have damaged your inner ear. Even some medications can also lead to inner ear damage.

An obstruction to the ear can be the cause of the diplacusis, and this in turn can be caused by excessive earwax or clogged sinuses. An ear infection can also cause swelling that can cause an obstruction, as well as a tumor.

 

If you wonder if you suffer from diplacusis, it is suggested to consult an ENT Specialist for the appropriate ENT services as soon as possible. HK ENT Specialist Ltd. is a professional Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre to offer ENT Services. Please contact us for an appointment at 3100 0555.

 

Source:

HK ENT Specialist Ltd.

Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre

For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,

Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,

Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

https://www.hkentspecialist.hk

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