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ENT illnesses and about living with PCOS- IBU x THKD Health Chats

Updated: May 3

Editor's note: This is a sponsored content, this post may contain affiliate links for your convenience.

IBU and Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara Health Chats on a variety of topics makes medical knowledge accessible to us. For the parent community, the series of lectures, workshops, and coffee sessions allow us to learn, share our problems, take informed decisions for the family.

These write ups are from IBU volunteers, from our notes and our photographs, as a way of supporting those who could not join a particular session

Tips in Managing ENT Illnesses in Children by Dr Balachandran Apoo (Consultant ENT, Head & Neck Surgeon

As a concerned mother, I have noticed that my 5-year-old child occasionally snores during sleep, and it worries me regarding its potential impact on his overall health. Seeking answers and guidance, I recently attended the IBUxThomson HealthChat on Tips Managing Children with ENT Illness, which provided valuable insights into understanding the reasons behind snoring in children.

The talk was conducted by Dr. Balachandran Appoo, a Consultant ENT, Head & Neck Laser Surgeon, who emphasized that the nose is often the primary culprit in such cases. Dr. Bala's advice to "treat the nose first and treat early" has given me a better understanding of how to manage ENT issues in children effectively.

Some advice/tips for children with ENT issues

  • Dr. Bala's first piece of advice is to arm ourselves with knowledge about common ENT conditions in children. This means educating ourselves about nasal congestion, allergies, and enlarged adenoids or tonsils, which are often associated with snoring, nasal congestion and other ENT issues.

  • By familiarizing ourselves with the causes and symptoms of these conditions, we can be proactive in identifying them early and seeking appropriate management strategies.

  • Prevention is the second crucial aspect highlighted by Dr. Bala. Taking preventive measures can significantly reduce the occurrence of ENT problems in children. This includes promoting good hygiene practices such as regular hand washing to minimize the risk of upper respiratory infections. Additionally, being aware of environmental allergens, such as dust mites or pollen, and taking steps to minimize exposure can help prevent allergic reactions that contribute to nasal congestion and snoring.

Role of home remedies in treating ENT illnesses in children

Home remedies can indeed provide relief for certain ENT illnesses, and using honey with warm water is one such remedy that may be beneficial and can provide relief from nasal congestion and sinus discomfort.

These remedies can be easily incorporated into our child's daily routine and help alleviate symptoms.

Early treatment

If any ENT problem persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms like difficulty breathing, frequent ear infections, or persistent nasal congestion, it is crucial to seek medical advice promptly. Consulting an ENT specialist will allow for a comprehensive evaluation of the underlying cause and appropriate treatment options, ensuring the best possible outcomes for our child's health.

It is essential to remember that treating the nose first and seeking early intervention can address snoring and its potential impact on overall well-being.

About the doctor

Dr Balachandran Appoo, Consultant ENT, Head & Neck Laser Surgeon

With over 22 years of experience in medicine, 18 of which is as the ENT, Head & Neck laser surgery, Dr. Balachandran is a prominent surgeon in the field of ENT, Head & Neck with a keen interest in Laser Surgery in ENT, Maxillofacial Trauma Surgery and Head & Neck Cancer Surgery.

He performs one of the largest series of comprehensive ENT, Head & Neck Laser surgeries in Malaysia. In addition to being highly skilled in ENT, Head & Neck practices, Dr. Bala is also excellent in a vast area of subspecialties such as facial plastic surgeries and sleep disorder surgeries. In addition, Dr. Bala completed his Fellowship Training in Oromaxillofacial Trauma, Head & Neck Oncosurgery and ENT in Australia before returning to Malaysia to head the Department of ENT & Head, Neck Surgery in Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital and Sg Buloh Hospital respectively.

Living with PCOS by Dr Melanie (Consultant O&G at TMC Fertility & Women Specialist Centre)

As an older sister, my heart sank when my younger sister received a diagnosis of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Witnessing her struggle to conceive for the past six years of her marriage, I am determined to provide unwavering support throughout her TTC (trying to conceive) journey. In my quest to better understand PCOS and be a pillar of support for my sister, I came across the IBUxThomson Health Chat on Living with PCOS, featuring Dr. Melanie, an O&G Consultant at TMC Fertility & Women Specialist Centre.

The insights shared by Dr. Melanie shed light on the condition and have equipped me with valuable knowledge.

The tips and knowledge on PCOS

Dr. Melanie emphasized that the presence of polycystic ovaries on an ultrasound scan does not necessarily indicate PCOS. A diagnosis requires the presence of any two of the following indicators: irregular or absent periods, an increase in facial or body hair growth, or a blood test revealing elevated testosterone levels. Understanding these diagnostic criteria is crucial in comprehending the complexity of PCOS and its impact on fertility.

Delving deeper into PCOS, I discovered some key facts.

  • PCOS affects approximately 10-15% of women, making it a relatively common condition. Moreover, it has a strong familial component, with 50% of first-degree female relatives of affected individuals also experiencing the condition.

  • It was disheartening to learn that one-third of women attending fertility clinics are diagnosed with PCOS, underscoring the challenges it presents for conception.

  • Additionally, an alarming statistic reveals that around 33% of women with PCOS also suffer from metabolic syndrome, which significantly increases the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, sleep apnea, and even cancer of the womb.

Our lifestyles and what needs changing

However, amidst these challenges, lifestyle modifications hold the key to managing PCOS effectively.

1. Regular exercise is essential as it aids in hormonal regulation, improves insulin sensitivity, and enhances fertility.

Encouraging my sister to engage in physical activities that she enjoys will not only benefit her physical health but also support her emotional well-being as she navigates through this journey.

2. A balanced diet is another crucial aspect of managing PCOS. By adopting a healthy eating pattern, my sister can regulate her menstrual cycles and improve her chances of conceiving.

3. Additionally, even a modest weight loss of 5-10% can have a significant impact on restoring regular menstrual cycles, further boosting her fertility prospects.

4. Setting realistic goals is important for my sister's journey. Working with her healthcare provider, we will aim for three to four menstrual cycles per year, allowing us to gauge progress and make any necessary adjustments to her treatment plan.

5. Regular health screenings also play a vital role in managing PCOS and detecting any potential long-term consequences. Encouraging my sister to prioritize these screenings, such as blood tests, blood pressure monitoring, cholesterol checks, and other relevant assessments, will empower her to take charge of her health and minimize the risk of complications.

In conclusion, PCOS not only affects fertility but also has implications for overall health. As a sister committed to supporting my younger sibling on her PCOS journey, I am dedicated to empowering her with knowledge and providing the support she needs. By championing lifestyle modifications and offering unwavering encouragement, I hope to help her navigate the challenges of PCOS, improve her overall well-being, and increase her chances of a successful TTC journey. Together, we will face PCOS head-on and work towards a healthier and happier future.

About the doctor

Dr Melanie Kuan Lih Jiun, Consultant Obstetrics & Gynaecology

Dr Melanie Kuan graduated from Melaka-Manipal Medical College. She completed her postgraduate training at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (MRCOG), London in 2018. Among her achievements are winning the Excellent Staff Award for Sabah Women and Children Hospital in 2019. She is dedicated to assessing, diagnosing and treating various female reproductive disorders, including abnormal uterine bleeding, pelvic mass, endometriosis, genital infections and pre-malignant conditions. Besides that, she is also committed to provide holistic care for pregnant women in the antenatal and post-partum period.

TMC Fertility

To encourage more couples to speak up and make informed decisions about their reproductive health, TMC Fertility has kickstarted its free IVF consultation initiative — a unique opportunity for individuals and couples to receive personalised guidance and advice from fertility experts. These consultation sessions are available every second and fourth Saturdays of the month at selected TMC Fertility's branches. To this end, TMC fertility aims to foster greater understanding around infertility, and empower individuals and couples to navigate their journey towards parenthood with resilience and hope.

Other Health Chats

Thomson Hospital plans a series of workshops and other sessions with their experts. Do check our calendar for the dates and times as they get scheduled, so you don't miss out on important medical knowledge for your child and your family!

Still to come:

Activity: IBU x THKD Health Chat #7: Pregnancy & Postpartum Wellness Workshop To bring life into the world is a monumental task that affects the physical, mental and emotional state. Choosing to embark on this journey can often feel overwhelming, and when the child arrives, it is easy to lose ourselves in the new identity as a parent. How will my body change? Can I still exercise? How do I adjust my nutrition? How can I prevent pain?

Thomson Hospital Rehab team with Gigi Ong Siew Chee, and the wellness experts Janell and Lisa from Aspire Lifestyle Hub teach you these skills that you will take with you on your new journey to becoming a mother.

Date: 8th July, Saturday Time: 9am to 12 pm Location: Conference Hall 2, Level 11, Thomson Hospital Kota Damansara Tickets: RM 200 (non-IBU members), RM 150 (IBU members- code will be shared on the IBU WhatsApp group) Click on link-


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