The questions below were raised by visitors to the STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print) website in the AskST section of the website. eMenders doctors provided the answers to the questions raised as a public health education project. The information provided below is of a general nature and should not be treated as a replacement for medical advice. You should seek consultation from a medical or healthcare professional about your specific medical condition.


Your son may have hyperacusis, which means that he has good hearing and is hypersensitive to sound. He will learn to cope with it over time.

If you are still concerned about this problem, please arrange for a consultation with an ENT (Ear Nose Throat) specialist.

Contributed by Dr Lau Chee Cheong, eMenders ENT Surgeon

You had flu initially and most probably followed by a nasal sinus congestion / infection (sinusitis) that did not resolve fully after the flu was over. This explains your tooth discomfort (more frequently dull ache) and Eustachian tube blockage affecting ear air pressure equalisation (taking airplane sensation) and in the worst case, fluid collection in the middle ears.

Nasal allergy exacerbation can give rise to similar symptoms. However, occasionally in adult Chinese, a tumour in the nasopharynx (back of the nose) also presents as ear blockage with buzzing but less of the tooth complaint.

We suggest that you seek medical help. Ear and nasal endoscopy would help to diagnose your condition. Appropriate treatment rendered should help relieve your symptoms.

Contributed by Dr Chew Chuan Tieh, ENT Surgeon

The description above describes the symptom of Tinnitus, which is basically the perception of sound in the ears or head in the absence of external sound. Patients may hear different sounds including ringing in the ears, hissing, roaring, clicking or even the sound of crickets as mentioned above.

The causes of Tinnitus are extremely varied. Please find below some common causes of Tinnitus. These causes include:

  • Ear wax or obstruction of the external ear
  • Ear drum perforations or damage
  • Middle ear fluid or infections
  • Eustachian tube problems
  • Noise induced hearing loss or degenerative hearing loss
  • Medications such as aspirin and diuretics
  • Jaw joint misalignment
  • Cardiovascular or heart problems
  • Certain types of brain tumours or strokes
  • Hormonal problems eg. thyroid disorders

It is important for the patient to seek medical treatment. One can do so by seeking medical help from the family doctor, with possibly a view to seek a specialists opinion. The patient needs to do a full Ear, Nose and Throat examination including a hearing test, possibly some blood tests and even MRI for some cases.

The treatment strategy for Tinnitus is to first find out the cause and then treat it. Treatments of Tinnitus varied, which include medication, amplification/hearing aids, tinnitus retraining therapies and jaw joint therapy amongst others.

Contributed by Dr Adrian Saurajen, ENT Surgeon