ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

ENT Dangers caused by Drug Abuse

ENT Dangers caused by Drug Abuse


ENT refers to the ears, nose, and throat. All three are common means for drug intake and over time many patients taking recreational drugs experience a myriad of ENT related syndromes. Each syndrome is different depending on the type of drug taken but there are a few common elements.


Ear Dangers Caused by Drug Abuse

Certain drugs like inhalants and hallucinogens can cause tinnitus condition in the ear. This is a condition that isn’t as common as rotten teeth or blood-shot eyes but it does happen and it can also become a leading gateway to hearing loss.


Another common ear complication can be caused by hallucinogens affecting the brain’s signals. Some potent hallucinogens recreate/mimic the effect of vertigo and the body may try to compensate this by re-adjusting the pressure within the ears. This could lead to hearing loss or even rupture of the eardrums.


Nose Dangers Caused by Drug Abuse

The nose is one of the most susceptible organs to drug abuse damages because so many drugs have to be inhaled or snorted, such as cocaine and aerosols. Mild irritations such as rashes and mild secretions from the nostrils are often the first signs of danger.

The blood vessels on the nose are much closer to the surface and this is why the “high” is felt nearly immediately after sniffing in the drug. However, this is also why the damage is more prominent. Too much cocaine use and the veins may begin to pop and bleed.


Bleeding and nose infections are just the beginning, however. A perforated septum is one of the most common dangers of drug abuse. The septum is the wall separating the two nostrils but constant drug abuse may cause this wall to break and puncture a hole.


This perforated septum will cause difficulty in breathing and in the person’s sense of smell. Eventually, the perforation will cause the nose to collapse.


Throat Dangers Caused by Drug Abuse

Not all drugs are injected or sniffed – some have to be smoked and inhaled. Marijuana, crack cocaine, and methamphetamine all require the user to inhale the drug for it to kick in. Unfortunately, all of these share the same problem with smoking cigarettes – they burn the throat and lungs.


Unlike tobacco, however, the level of infection caused by inhalant drugs can be more severe in nature. Some amphetamine drugs burn through the trachea and others are linked as direct causes of lung cancer and lung failure.


Heavy inhalants also damage the larynx and the epiglottis, the flap of skin tissue keeping food out of the trachea. The voice box is often the first to feel the dangers and is often discovered rotten with dead cells. Most drug abusers are forced to get half of their larynxes removed.


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



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


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