What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, clicking or thumping sound in the ear. Most of the time the cause is unknown. The reason for tinnitus of unknown cause has been postulated to be misfiring of electrical signals by the hearing nerve or brain. Tinnitus is usually not due to a dangerous condition. It may be caused by hearing loss from exposure to loud noises, impacted ear wax, ear infections, certain drugs, stress and inadequate sleep. Addressing the cause of the tinnitus, tinnitus medication, tinnitus counseling and a device to mask the sound of the tinnitus may help in some patients.


Although uncommon, tinnitus associated with hearing loss only in one ear or hearing loss that is more severe in one ear, may be due to a benign tumour on the nerve close to the brain. Tinnitus of a thumping nature (similar to your heartbeat) may be a sign of a vascular tumour (growth originating from a blood vessel) close to the inner structures of the ear. Hence, patients with these symptoms should consult their ENT Specialist and have a complete ENT assessment.

When Should You See an ENT Specialist in Singapore?

  • Any ear, nose or throat symptoms that you are troubled with or concerned about
  • Persistent blocked nose with mouth breathing or snoring

Dr Gan provides a comprehensive management in a broad array of Ear, Nose and Throat as well as Head & Neck conditions. He has a special interest in treating various nose and sinus conditions including snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

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