I am Dr Barrie Tan, an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist based in Gleneagles Hospital Singapore. I am experienced in managing ENT conditions such as sinus problems, snoring, obstructive sleep apnoea, allergic rhinitis, voice problems, thyroid nodules, neck lumps, hearing loss, tinnitus and giddiness. I am a President’s Scholar and have over 20 years of clinical and surgical experience. For more than 6 years, I was a senior consultant and the head of the department of otolaryngology (ENT) at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). During my tenure, I routinely managed and operated on young children with ENT conditions as well as the full range of Adult ENT conditions. I am well known for my expertise in treating hearing loss, as well as performing endoscopic ear surgeries. I introduced endoscopic ear surgeries in SGH in 2014 and have been actively spearheading its adoption and development in Singapore since. I have performed over 100 ear surgeries endoscopically, ranging the entire gamut of different ear surgeries. These include endoscopic tympanoplasty, myringoplasty, tympanomastoidectomy, ossiculoplasty, stapedotomy and stapedectomy, as well as endoscopic facial nerve decompression. I am also an experienced cochlear implant surgeon, having personally performed several hundred cochlear implant surgeries in Singapore and countries like Vietnam, Indonesia and Bangladesh. I am often invited to lecture at international conferences on my experience in cochlear implant surgeries, and invited as an instructor in specialised ear surgery workshops and courses. I have served as a course director in numerous symposia and masterclasses in cochlear implant surgery, such as the Singapore General Hospital Cochlear Implant Surgery Masterclass Course in 2017 and 2018. I am passionate about bringing surgical innovations and updates in medical technology to Singapore and the Southeast Asian region, and is an early adopter of approved innovative surgical techniques and surgical hearing implants. I am the current president of the ASEAN Otorhinolaryngological (ENT) Head & Neck Federation, and was the president of the Society of Otolaryngology (ENT) Head & Neck Surgery Singapore from 2017 – 2019. I am also an avid teacher, spending much of my time teaching and nurturing the next generation of ENT surgeons. From 2012 – 2014, I was the director of the SingHealth ENT Residency Training Program. I was also appointed as a member of the National ENT Residency Advisory Committee which oversees the 3 ENT Residency programmes in Singapore. Besides being a surgical innovator, I am also an administrative innovator. I co-founded the SingHealth-Duke NUS Head and Neck Centre in 2014, and from 2014 – 2018, served as the deputy head of the SingHealth-Duke NUS Head and Neck Centre. In this capacity, I helped to coordinate the development of multidisciplinary head and neck surgery capabilities and care of complex head and neck conditions in the various SingHealth hospitals and institutions. I volunteer at the Canossian School, which runs a special education programme for children with hearing impairment and who wear hearing devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants. In the past, I performed ear surgeries like myringoplasties and mastoidectomies in rural communities. In recent years, I have been performing cochlear implant surgeries for deaf Vietnamese children in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City under the Hear-The-World programme. Learn more about Gleneagles Hospital here: https://patients.smarterhealth.my/hospital/gleneagles-hospital-singapore/ Learn more about me here: https://patients.smarterhealth.my/specialist-doctor/barrie-tan/ I am excited to be here to share/discuss ENT Health with everyone. Whether you've got questions about sinus problems, snoring, sleep and hearing issues, voice problems, neck lumps, 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.
Doctor, I have an infection in the middle of my ear. My ENT prescribed antibiotics but it didn't get better. Sometimes white fluid comes out of my ear. What should I do to understand the cause of this problem and how to cure it, Doc? Thank you
Doctor, I feel something blocking my throat. The throat itself itches. My chest x-ray showed that my heart and lungs are fine, only that there is an allergy. I have had a dry cough for 3 months. What is the solution, Doc? Thank you
Doctor, I went to an ENT once because I had been finding it hard to breathe. The doctor’s diagnosis was that I'm experiencing the narrowing of the nose canal, but not severely. I was advised to exercise regularly and to breathe clean air, as well as to wear a mask to prevent the dust entering my nose. Yes, if I do those tips, I can breathe easily. But, when I stop doing it, the problem comes back. My question is, is there any permanent solution for this?
Good afternoon, Dr Tan. I have a sore throat and short breath and chest pain. I saw an ENT, he said I had gastric acid reflux. Is there any way to treat my sore throat, Doc? Thank you in advance, Dr. Barrie Tan
Doctor, there is a hole in my ear drum, but it is a small hole. The doctor said it can be treated without surgery, Is there any chance for this hole to get bigger?
Doctor, I feel my nose is full with mucus, but nothing comes out of it actually. It has been 2 weeks. What should I do to get it cured?
Doctor, my inner nose has been itching for this past week. When I pried into it, it bled. I used saline once to clean it, but it just hurts. Why is that so, Doc?
Doctor, my left ear rings but without any pain. I saw an ENT specialist, she said my ears are fine, there is no wax, but the ringing is still there and it makes me uncomfortable. Is there any solution? I have hypertension.
Doctor, my right ear rings. I saw an ENT specialist, and the examination showed my ears are fine. Besides that, I have a bloating stomach, anxiety, and gastric acid. Thank you
Doctor, my ears hurt so much since 3 weeks ago. I saw an ENT specialist and the doctor said there was a big, hard piece of dirt stuck in my ear. The doctor tried to pull it out but failed. He gave me medicine to soften it and finally it came out and yes it was big. After that, the pain was gone. But a yellowish liquid kept flowing out (sometimes with blood in it), and it's still happening as of now. My mother checked my ear using a flashlight and said there was a white lump inside my ear. In fact, I feel it as well. Is that a boil, Doc? What medicine should I take to cure it? Please give me your answer because so many clinics have been closed since COVID-19 hit us. Thank you.
Doctor, my throat itches and I have phlegm in my cough. I saw a GP, he said it was inflammation. It really bothers me at night when I go to bed. In the morning, I cough out so much phlegm. What is the solution, Doc? Thank you
My ears buzz and leak due to a diving accident. From my ears, liquid often flows out. What should I do, Doc?
Doctor, I cleaned my right ear using a cotton bud. The cotton is stuck in my ear. I tried to pull it out but instead push it deeper in. How do I get it out, Doc? There is a salon next to my house and they offered therapy. Is it dangerous? This has been a week.
Doctor, I have a problem with tonsils, both right and left. Is it dangerous? What is the medicine for this?
Doctor, I have a small hole in my ear drum. Yesterday, some blood came out of the whole. Because it hurt, I applied ear drops. Is it dangerous - using ear drops for a ear with a hole in the drum?
There is a green liquid coming out of my left nostril if I bend down. It smells. Why is this so, doc?
Doctor, there is a hard lump on the front of my neck, close to the right side, that can be felt when I swallow something. Is this dangerous? What disease is this, Doc?
Doctor, my nose is clogged when I stand up. But if I lie down, it is better. And I also have difficulties in taking long breaths.
Last week I got a piercing on my ear, near the soft bones and the flesh. The flesh wound is almost cured but the area around the soft bone is swelling, and what worries me the most is that the swelling is almost covering the piercing, Doc. But the hole is still visible. Please give me some advice
Doctor, I found a clear liquid coming out of my right ear. This happens only when I am chewing my food. I have seen an ENT specialist twice, she said it is due to an inflammation in the outer ear. I have taken oral antibiotics but there is no improvement. Please give me your advice. Thank you
I have a boil in my ear. It hurts when the water touches it whenever I take a bath. I have taken oral antibiotics so far but there is no improvement. Please give me your advice doc.
Doc, I have a problem with nasal septum deviation. It not only affects my breathing, but also my looks. Will an ENT specialist be able to repair the form of my nose as well? Or should I see a plastic surgeon besides seeing an ENT specialist to treat my airway?
I am 46 years old:
- It has been 3 years since my right ear cannot hear and it rings. My ENT doctor said it is incurable.
- It has been 20 months since my left ear cannot hear. It happened suddenly without any symptoms. I woke up at night at around 1:30am because I heard a noise in my ear, like the sound of a machine and around 3 hours later, I lost my hearing. 3 days later, I had vertigo and was hospitalized.
- My left ear rings until now (it doesn’t ‘buzz’, but it's more like a singing of a bird, or dripping of water into a bowl of water.
- I have vertigo every time I sleep on my left side. There is a sound in my head, more often when I wake up as I raise or bow my head.
- I often have allergies, sneezing, with my ear, nose, and throat itching, and nose obstruction. And if I take medicines prescribed by a GP, the sound in my head is gone.
- I also often have recurrent gastric acid reflux before I lost the hearing of my left ear.
- It's a neurological problem like fainting, and that I will be able to hear again sooner or later.
- Viral infection that makes me unable to hear anymore
Doctoor, my head feels so heavy and I feel nausea and my left ear rings. I also feel cold and weak on my feet and arms. Why is this so, Doc?
Doctor, I want to ask why when I wake up in the morning I often sneeze and have a runny nose? Almost always, this condition disappears by the time afternoon comes around though.
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