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Novena ENT – Head & Neck Surgery Specialist Centre
 
MAIN CLINIC:
Mount Elizabeth
Novena Specialist Centre
38 Irrawady Road
#04-21/22/34, Singapore 329563
 
SATELLITE CLINIC:
Parkway East Hospital
319 Joo Chiat Place
#03-07, Singapore 427989
 
 
Services & Facilities
  Specialized Ear Services

1. Hearing Health

  Adult Hearing Assessments
Infant & Children’s Hearing Assessments
Medical & Surgical expertise
Hearing Technology
Therapy Services

2. Tinnitus
3. Giddiness/Vertigo
4. Ear Infection Control
5. Facial Nerve Disorders
6. Lateral Skull Base Surgery


1. Hearing Health

As a one-stop healthcare provider for people with any degree of hearing impairment, we offer holistic, coordinated care in the form of medical, audiological, rehabilitative and psychosocial services.

Hearing & Tinnitus Assessments for Adults

The first step to treating hearing conditions and tinnitus (the hallucination of sounds) is accurate diagnosis. We offer a range of industry-standard diagnostic tests, performed by our experienced team in dedicated hearing assessment facilities.

Pure Tone Audiometry (Hearing Test)
This hearing test determines the degree and type of hearing loss by measuring the softest level of sound a patient can hear at different frequencies. Earphones are worn and the patient is requested to respond by pressing a button.

Tympanometry
Used to measure eardrum movement, this test helps detect any perforation of the eardrum or middle ear disorders that may be present.

Acoustic Reflex Test
As a measurement of the ear’s natural reflex to lower the intensity of loud sounds, this test provides additional information on the patient’s hearing levels and neural pathways.


Hearing Assessments for Infants & Children

Accurately assessing hearing loss in infants and young children requires a specialised set of skills and diagnostic tests. Our team has extensive experience in caring for paediatric patients with hearing conditions. They are supported by our centre’s specialised paediatric facilities including an audiometry booth and an evaluation and procedures room designed for the young.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)
This is a test applied on sleeping babies to estimate their hearing levels. Recording pads are placed on the forehead and behind the ears to measure brainstem activity while sounds are played. 

Auditory Steady State Evoked Potential (ASSR)
Also performed on sleeping babies, this test measures brain activity while listening to tones of varying frequency and intensity. The results are detected objectively using statistical formulae that determine the presence or absence of a true hearing response. ASSR is usually performed with ABR to better evaluate hearing levels.

Otoacoustic Emissions (OAE)
A test used to measure the inner hair cell function of the cochlear, this is usually performed on newborn babies to screen for deafness.

High Frequency Tympanometry
This is a similar test to tympanometry tests for adults except that a higher-pitched probe tone is used to cater to the characteristics of a baby’s middle ear.

Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
This test helps evaluate hearing in children between six and 24 months of age. It uses conditioned head turn responses to a sound stimulus. A video clip (like a cartoon animation) is often used to reward a correct response. 

Play Audiometry
This is a test to evaluate hearing in children who are 24 months or older. The child is conditioned to perform a listening task by playing a game, such as putting pegs in a board.


Medical & Surgical Expertise

An armamentarium of medical and surgical tools, ranging from simple to complex is used to treat hearing loss and other ear disorders. The most appropriate tool is chosen on the basis of best practices and evidence-based medicine, taking into consideration factors like necessity, efficacy, associated risks and cost-effectiveness.


Hearing Technology

There have been major advancements in the area of hearing technology to help people better cope with hearing impairments. Hearing aids, cochlear implants and implantable hearing devices are some of the available options.

Our in-house audiologist will help match the patient’s lifestyle with the appropriate hearing device based on the latest proven technologies. Depending on each patient’s condition, a demonstration may be performed. Fittings and follow-up appointments are also designed to help patients understand, care for and make the best use of the device.

Hearing Aids
Hearing aids amplify sounds so that its wearer enjoys increased awareness of their environment. The latest in hearing aid technology features automatic digital signal processing, multiband adaptive directionality, wind noise management, multiple listening programs, data logging/learning, water-resistant technology, wireless Bluetooth capability and more.

Cochlear Implants
While hearing aids can be helpful for most individuals, there are some who find limited benefits from acoustic amplification. The cochlear implant is an established treatment for severe to profound hearing loss as it bypasses the damaged structures of the inner ear and directly stimulates the auditory nerve.
 
Implantable Hearing Devices
There are some types of hearing loss where hearing can be improved with an implantable device such as the Bone Conduction Implant (BAHA) or the Middle Ear Implant. Unlike conventional hearing aids, these are surgically implanted into the ear and invisible to the naked eye.


Therapy Services

Coping with hearing impairment takes more than medical treatment. Our holistic approach to caring for hearing health extends to therapy and counselling services to help not only patients of all ages, but their family members and caregivers as well. These efforts are led by our Audio-Verbal Therapist, Dr Stephanie Lim.

For Babies and Young Children
Early intervention is important for babies and young children with any degree of hearing loss, whether they are using hearing aids or have had cochlear implants. We adopt the auditory-verbal approach in teaching deaf children to listen and talk. Their progress is continually evaluated with standardised assessment tools, and home visits may be involved. For children with additional disabilities, Dr Lim will also work closely with the various healthcare professionals involved for fully coordinated care.

For School-Going Children
We will help evaluate the child’s school-readiness, provide advice on appropriate school placement and facilitate the integration of the child to mainstream schools where possible. Literacy development progress is continually evaluated and school visits may be involved.

For Adults
We focus on hearing rehabilitation for individuals with post-lingual or progressive hearing loss, as well as the development of listening skills for young adults and the elderly.

For Caregivers
We help parents and caregivers with guidance and training in caring for the hearing impaired. As partners, we work with caregivers to help the patient develop listening skills, language skills and communication competence through activities at our centre and at home. 

For Cochlear Implant Patients
Therapy is an integral part of the cochlear implant process, both pre- and post-surgery. We are fully involved in the entire process from candidacy assessment, surgery preparation and post-implant therapy.

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2. Tinnitus

Tinnitus is generally understood as noise or ringing in the ear. Rather than a condition, it is sometimes a symptom of an underlying cause. Our approach to caring for patients with tinnitus is a comprehensive one that involves a combination of diagnostic tests, counseling and medications as deemed appropriate.

In disturbing and persistent tinnitus, detailed audiological test and tinnitus measurement is performed. The patient will be assessed for the suitability of Neuromonics Tinnitus Treatment. To learn more about this treatment option, visit www.neuromonics.com.

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3. Giddiness & Vertigo

Giddiness is a common complaint among patients. Vertigo, characterised by a spinning or rotatory sensation, is also frequently experienced by patients. Both symptoms may be associated with inner ear disorders as the inner ear has a balancing function, but there can also be many other causes. A full evaluation is required before a diagnosis can be made.

In all cases, the patient is first evaluated to rule out serious causes. Investigations, if needed, may include electro-physiological (ENG or ECoG), radiological or blood tests. The causes and symptoms will then be appropriately managed with a combination of medical, surgical and rehabilitative solutions.

As part of our comprehensive hearing health services, we perform a range of giddiness and balance assessment tests in a specialised facility within our centre:

Videonystagmography (VNG)
VNG is a series of tests where eye movements are recorded by infrared camera while the patient lies in different positions. By assessing voluntary eye movements during these tests, the possible causes of dizziness or balance disorders may be identified.

Electrocochleography (ECoG)
This is a test used to examine electrical potentials in the inner ear elicited by sound stimulation. It can be useful for diagnosing Meniere’s disease.

Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)
This is a test used to evaluate one portion of the balance organ known as the saccules. Electrodes are placed on the neck muscles and sound is presented when the testing begins. Muscle activation is then measured.

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4. Ear Infection Control

There are several types of ear infections, the most common being infections of the inner ear (also known as otitis interna or labyrinthitis), infections of the middle ear (otitis media) and infections of the outer ear (otitis externa or swimmer’s ear). These can lead to symptoms like ear pain and ear discharge, among others.  

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5. Facial Nerve Disorders

In a disorder involving the facial nerve, twitching, weakness and paralysis are commonly experienced. These may be symptoms of infection, injury or the presence of tumours. A careful evaluation is needed to determine the root cause before suitable treatments, whether medication or surgery, can be prescribed.

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6. Acoustic Neuroma & Lateral Skull Base Surgery

These are specialty procedures that are regarded as the frontier of new developments in the treatment of hard-to-reach lesions and tumours. Skull base surgery is used to remove tumours in and around the skull base and ear while striving to preserve the hearing function. This surgical procedure is a highly demanding one because of the many blood vessels and cranial nerves that reside at the base of the skull.

 
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