ENT Knowledge Base

What is your symptom?

Throat

Oral Ulcers

Oral ulcers are commonly caused by viral infection e.g. herpes, vitamin deficiency, sharp teeth or dentures, diabetes. The drying of oral mucosa know as ‘ Yit Hei’ as in Chinese medical point of view, increases the chance of infection or the oral cavity. Therefore, a balanced diet and oral hygiene are essential to cure and prevent oral ulcers.

Sore Throat

The common causes of sore throat are viral infection and mechanical causes e.g. breathing through mouth. In most cases, sore throat can be treated at home but in the following cases, professionals’ advice is necessary:

  • If you have a rapid onset together with fever

  • If you have difficulty in swallowing or breathing

  • If your sore throat lasts for more than a week

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Oral ulcers

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Left Palatal Ulcers

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Left Palatal Ulcer

Dry throat

It may be due to the side effects of medication, disease e.g. Diabetes, medical treatments such as chemotherapy. Other causes include Nerve damage, dehydration e.g. when having fever. Some kind f operations such as removal of salivary glands also results in mouth. Smoking or chewing tobacco will affect the secretion of saliva and thus causing dry mouth.

Lump in throat

Lump in throat presents as a feeling of a mass in throat. These findings are of particular concern in making the diagnosis: Neck pain, Weight loss, pain in swallowing, muscle weakness. If any of these findings present, immediate medical advice is necessary. Flexible endoscopy examination, CT/MRI scan are standard tests to differentiate different diseases relating to the lump in throat.

Difficulty in swallowing

Foreign body ingestion, sore throat with infection and thyroid gland enlargement can be the causes of difficulty in swallowing. However, in other cases where no pain sense is perceived, the symptom may arise from nerves malfunction.

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Chicken Bone Ingestion

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Fish Bone Ingestion

 Vallecular Cyst

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Vallecular Cyst

Tongue Pain

Tongue pain is commonly caused by oral infection e.g. fungal infection, oral ulcers, vitamin deficiency and cancer.

Medical advice is strongly recommended if the tongue pain continued for more than 2 weeks with or without ulcers.

Disturbance of taste

Our tongue can taste only sweet, salty, sour and bitter. Others are complemented by our noses. Therefore, our tastes alter if we have nose block, acute infections relating to throat, heavy smoking. Certain kind of diseases, such as vitamin B12 deficiency also interferes with our tastes.

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Oral Candidiasis

Hoarseness

People have hoarseness when their voices become harsh and rough. The general causes are the irritation of, and injury to the vocal cord such as Vocal Cord Polyp. Throat infections and overuse of voices are the most common problems that affect the vocal cord.