Ask a Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Specialist: Dr Lynne Lim from Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital Singapore

Ask a Doctor ForumCategory: OtorhinolaryngologyAsk a Ear Nose Throat (ENT) Specialist: Dr Lynne Lim from Mount Elizabeth Orchard Hospital Singapore
dr. Lynne Lim asked 3 years ago
I am Dr Lynne Lim, Senior Consultant Ear Nose Throat – Head & Neck Surgeon based in Mount Elizabeth (Orchard) Hospital and Farrer Park Hospital. Ask Me Anything! I have over 25 years of accredited ENT experience. Besides my private practice, I am Adjunct Associate Professor to the School of Medicine at National University Singapore, and Visiting Consultant to the ENT Department at National University Hospital. Between 2001 to 2003, I was awarded a Healthcare Manpower Development Program (HMDP) Fellowship for ENT Surgery and National Medical Research Council Research Fellowship for research at Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Centre, Ohio, USA. CCHMC is a world-renowned American ENT Board Accredited medical and research centre, and my little girl loved growing up there. Between 2002 to 2004, I completed my Master of Public Health degree at the Harvard School of Public Health, USA. My second MOH HMDP award in 2008 -2009 was for reconstruction surgery of microtia/ atresia/ middle ear at inspirational centers of Stanford Medical Centre (USA), University of Virginia Medical Centre (USA), and Nagata Plastic and Ear Reconstruction Clinic (Japan). I have enjoyed traveling to neighbouring countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Middle East as faculty for surgery workshops and academic conferences, and seen that good health is really the top concern for everyone. I consult in adult and pediatric cases of general ENT like ear, hearing, tinnitus, giddiness, allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, snoring, adenoid and tonsils, throat, voice, head and neck lump problems. I am further sub-specialized to manage complex cases of ear problems and hearing loss (EarWell, microtia, atresia and middle ear tumor and ear bone reconstruction surgery, cochlear implants, middle ear implants like Vibrant Soundbridge, BoneBridge, BAHA bone anchored hearing aids; airway reconstruction; syndromic children (e.g. Down Syndrome). In Singapore, I have had the chance to do exciting work, pioneering simultaneous anterior and posterior rib graft reconstruction for severe subglottic airway stenosis for stridor in children (2004), sphincteroplasty for velopharyngeal insufficiency for unclear speech (2004), genetic testing of congenital hearing loss service at NUH (2005), the first simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant surgery (2005), and first totally-implantable (“invisible”) Carina middle ear implant surgery (2008). In 2006, I had the chance again to perform the first Vibrant Soundbridge middle ear implant surgery. There are 2 key research initiatives I am continuing with currently. One is the development of a hand-held device to insert grommet ear tubes in the clinic, and another is the development of a bioabsorbable grommet tube that would self degrade within 3 to 6 months. Learn more about me here: I am excited to be here to share/discuss ENT Health with everyone. I will be actively answering questions. Whether you've got questions about ENT disorders either in children or adults, or specific questions related to hearing loss or unclear speech, ask me anything! === Want to ask a question? Submit your question at the bottom of this page. Don’t forget to include your name and email address to get notified when the doctor answers your question.
35 Answers
Eflin Anita Saleh answered 3 years ago
I am 60 years old. I have an ENT problem. My doctor suggested that I undergo surgery, but I don’t want to. When the problem recurs, my nose is blocked and my breath is short. To take care of it, I use nasal drops. What I want to ask is, is this due to my resistance to undergoing surgery that gives me this recurring problem? My ENT doctor wanted to exclude sinusitis and hence did a CT scan. It turns out I don’t have any sinusitis. He advised a surgery because he needs to reduce something. Can you please give a solution? Thank you
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

Dear Sir, you may want to seek a 2nd opinion from another ENT, to see if surgery is needed. You should also ask the doctor to explain to you fully what is the exact problem and what the "something" that is being reduced is. There are many structures in the nose that can be blocking the nose. For example, turbinate tissues, polyps, nose bone deviation, tumors. So it is important you find out first what is the "something", and ask what would happen if you leave it alone and what are the risks if you go for surgery. Bring your family members there so they can help you make a good decision.

Benyamin Bara answered 3 years ago
Doctor, what is the medicine for sinusitis? My head aches, especially on the front and my nose. Please give me your advice.
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

If your headache is due to sinusitis, your doctor will usually prescribe oral anthistamine medication, together with a steroid nasal spray. In very acute painful stages, your doctor may add oral or topical nasal decongestant medications, and even steroid tablets sometimes. If the symptoms persist, a nose swab is needed to see what the pathogen causing the sinusitis is, so that the correct antibiotics can be used. The doctor will also do a nose scope to exclude polyps and growths and see if the nose anatomy is normal. Sometimes, a CT scan is needed to determine next steps of treatment.

Iwan Setiawan R answered 3 years ago
I have a sore throat that makes me cough a lot - with phlegm. I have been suffering this for quite a long time and have taken all the inflammatory medicines. It bothers me so much at night as I have sleeping problems, and the morning after, when I drink, a lot of phlegm gets produced with my coughing. Please give me a solution.
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

Hi, it is important that you see a respiratory doctor in person, so that the doctor can check your lungs to see if there is lung infection. You may also need a chest X Ray, culture of the sputum and blood tests. You should not continue to self-medicate or use over the counter medication.

Raditya Awaludin answered 3 years ago
Doctor, why do I often have a nosebleed when I cough? It gets worse when I have a flu. My mucus is green with blood in it. But I don’t have a headache - it's only when my nose bleeds that I sometimes feel dizzy. Please give me a solution, Doctor.
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

If you have nose bleeds for a while now, with or without coughing, you must go and see your ENT doctor. Sometimes, a nose or sinus infection can have blood stained mucus or sputum. However, there can be more serious causes like abnormal blood vessels, ulcers, polyps, and benign or cancerous tumors that cause bleeding.

Trisna answered 3 years ago
Doctor, I have sinusitis. I cannot stay too long in an air-conditioned room, my head will ache and mucus flows out of my nose. Is this considered severe? Is there any treatment option aside from surgery?
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

Hi, your symptoms may be due to vasomotor rhinitis, where the nose and sinuses react to changes of humidity or temperature with runny and blocked nose. You may also have allergic rhino sinusitis, where you are allergic to allergens that are in the air in the room. For example, in bedrooms, there are house dust mite, cockroach, mould allergens. Or some homes have pet dander, grass or tree pollens. In such situations, the mucosa lining in the nose and sinuses swell and become congested, and this can cause headache. You should go to your doctor to have your nose examined. In certain cases, a flexible nasoendoscopy is needed at the ENT, to exclude anatomical problems like deviated nose septum and nose polyps. Allergy testing can also be done. Steroid nose sprays and antihistamine medications may help in simple cases.

M.F.Marliyanti answered 3 years ago
Both of my ears itch quite often and I have hearing loss due to the dirt inside it. I cleaned out my ears, but the issue recurs. I saw ENT doctors at several hospitals but the problem persists. Please give an explanation to this, Doc. Thank you
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

You may be digging your ears too much, such that there is a low grade infection in the ear canal, or the superficial layer of the skin in the ear canal is abraded or scrapped off. This results in loss of protective wax or oil in the ear canal, and increases the chance of infection. The more your dig your ears or put ear drops in your ear, the higher the risk of irritating the normal skin lining in the ear. Stop digging your ears. The ear wax do not usually result in hearing loss, so do get a hearing test if there is still hearing loss after the wax is out and infection is cleared.

Rusmey Togatorop answered 3 years ago
Doctor, my throat hurts and is dry. What medicine should I take?
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

If your throat hurts during this time of Covid19, you should see a doctor in person to see if it is a bacterial infection, a viral infection, or if there are related conditions like nose infection or nose block, or gastroesophageal reflux that can cause throat dryness. The doctor can then prescribe the correct treatment if simple lozenges do not work. It is important if your symptoms persist for more than 3 days to see the doctor.

Afriska answered 3 years ago
Doctor, what should I do if my ears tend to itch after a doctor removed a cotton bud from my ears?
dr. Lynne Lim replied 3 years ago

There may have been some irritation to the skin of the ear canal due to the cotton bud. There could be some infection, either bacteria or fungal in nature. You may need the doctor to prescribe some medication ear drops for you after he/ she examines you and clean out any debris. The itch can also be because you dig your ears too much, thus the skin of the ear canal is not healthy. Avoid digging your ears with cotton bud as it becomes a hard habit to break. Our ears are self cleaning usually.

wilzan answered 2 years ago
I have had a chronic sore throat for about 4 years . I've consulted with an ENT specialist, he said it was GERD. I didn’t feel pain when eating and drinking, but my throat wall was a bit reddish and my tonsils were removed about 5 years ago. What could have caused this condition?
Sharon answered 2 years ago

I often suffer from frequent ear infections that come with fever and discharge. My question is - is it true that ear infections are caused by heatiness? I noticed whenever I eat certain foods that are heatier, I tend to get a ear infection a few days later.

dr. Lynne Lim replied 2 years ago

Ear infections are not usually associated with foods that we take. If there is discharge from the ear, there could be a ear infection in the ear canal or in the middle ear. If there is fever with the ear infection, there could be a nose infection, or the ear infection could be more serious, or there may be a mastoid bone infection. Rarely, there can be middle ear cholesteatoma tumors that leads to recurrent discharge. The ENT doctor can take a swab to see if there is a bacteria infection, do microscopic ear cleaning, and make an accurate diagnosis after seeing you. It is not normal to have this type of discharge.

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