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The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - ENT SPECIAL -

– Soft, pain­less non­cancer­ous growths on the lin­ing of the nasal pas­sage or si­nuses are called polyps, and they com­monly oc­cur due to in­flam­ma­tion from asthma, in­fec­tion, drug sen­si­tiv­ity, al­ler­gies or im­mune dis­or­ders. Those with si­nusi­tis ( in­flam­ma­tion of nasal pas­sage) are more sus­cep­ti­ble to de­vel­op­ing polyps.

Larger polyps may block nasal pas­sages and di­min­ish the sense of smell. They are no­to­ri­ous for re­turn­ing but can be elim­i­nated or shrunk with med­i­ca­tion. See a doc­tor if you ex­pe­ri­ence a per­sis­tent runny or stuffy nose with fa­cial pain for more than 10 days.

Nasal polyps Na­sopha­ryn­geal car­ci­noma

This rare type of head and neck can­cer be­gins in the na­sophar­ynx ( area be­hind the throat and to­wards upper part of throat) and its cause has been linked to ge­netic mu­ta­tion caused by an Epstein- Barr in­fec­tion.

The risk for this can­cer is said to in­crease with high con­sump­tion of salt- cured fish and meat, to­bacco, and al­co­hol, and is also in­flu­enced by ge­netic pre­dis­po­si­tion. Re­cur­ring ear in­fec­tions, headaches, blurry vi­sion and lumps in the neck or nose could be early warn­ing signs.

– Oti­tis ex­terna refers to an ex­ter­nal ear in­fec­tion, and is also known as the “swimmer’s ear” be­cause

Ear in­fec­tion

pro­longed ex­po­sure to water can in­crease vul­ner­a­bil­ity. It causes ear pain and itch­i­ness with pos­si­ble dis­charge of pus, tem­po­rary hear­ing loss and com­monly af­fects one ear.

On the other hand, oti­tis media af­fects the mid­dle ear and com­monly af­flicts in­fants be­tween six to 15 months old. A mid­dle ear in­fec­tion can present sim­i­lar symp­toms to ex­ter­nal in­fec­tion, and med­i­cal help should be sought if the con­di­tion does not im­prove nat­u­rally over the course of a few days with se­vere pus dis­charge.


– Hear­ing loss is com­mon as we age, but ill­nesses and ge­netic pre­dis­pos­tion also af­fect au­di­tory senses. Re­peated ex­po­sure to loud noises, in­clud­ing the pro­longed use of ear­phones, makes us sus­cep­ti­ble to hear­ing dif­fi­cul­ties ear­lier on in life.

Ill­nesses such as heart dis­ease, high blood pres­sure and di­a­betes may also in­ter­fere with blood sup­ply to the ear, as can trauma and in­fec­tions.

Early symp­toms of de­te­ri­o­rat­ing hear­ing in­clude dif­fi­culty de­ci­pher­ing high- pitched sounds or fol­low­ing con­ver­sa­tions over the phone and over loud back­ground noise. Fre­quent ring­ing or hiss­ing sounds in the ear may also oc­cur as a symp­tom of hear­ing loss, but this is another con­di­tion known as tin­ni­tus ( caused by dam­aged cochlear cells) and is not mu­tu­ally ex­clu­sive to deaf­ness.

Hear­ing loss

El­iz­a­beth Teng, who has experienced hear­ing im­pair­ment since a young age, has found a new lease on life thanks to hear­ing aid ser­vices at 20dB Hear­ing.

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