Frequently Asked Questions

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What is an Otolaryngologist?

This is the official name of a surgeon who deals with issues concerning the Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck

Should I stop smoking before my surgery?

Yes, smoking is not only harmful to your health but can cause complications during surgery. It can affect the anaesthetic and your healing time, so it is recommended that you stop at least 24 hours before you go to the hospital. It is preferred however, that you stop a week before your surgery.

Do you need a referral to see an ENT?

To be eligible to claim the service through Medicare, a referral from another Doctor is required. Note that a referral from a GP is valid for 12 months and a referral from a specialist is valid for 3 months.


I have been diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA), what does that mean?

OSA is a disorder that causes complete or partial obstruction of the upper airway, causing you to stop breathing multiple times per hour during sleep. It is a very serious condition that can not only increase your chances of suffering a heart attack or stroke, but also affect your daily quality of life. It is a good thing that you have a diagnosis and can start a treatment pathway to improve your health.

Why is sleep important?

A good night sleep is vital to our health and is just as important as diet and exercise. We need good sleep so our bodies are able to function to their full potential and enjoy life. A lack of sleep can cause serious health problems, and affect relationships and work.

What is the BADNIGHTS referral pad?

BADNIGHTS is SleepGP’s very own referral system. By answering the questions on the pad at reception, we will be able to determine whether you have signs or symptoms of a sleep disorder. You can then take this to your SleepGP and take the steps to getting a diagnosis.

I have been told I need CPAP treatment. What does that mean?

The CPAP device automatically generates and increases air pressure into your airways while you sleep. The airflow opens your airways, stops you snoring and maximises your chances of having a much needed good night’s rest. Some people need more air pressure than others and it varies from person to person.

Is the CPAP treatment safe?

CPAP treatment is a very safe and is a highly effective treatment of OSA.

I would like to try the CPAP device but I don’t have the money to buy a new one right now. What can I do?

Your SleepGP clinic offer a trial of a machine to see if the treatment is suitable for you. Your Sleep Nurse can walk you through the device, show you how it works and be there to help you with any questions you have during the trial period.

How do I know what machine is best for me?

While all CPAP devices do the same thing, some come with specific comfort features that make the device more comfortable for some people. Your Sleep Nurse can take you through the devices to find a solution that matches your individual needs.

If the CPAP device is not right for me, what else is available?

SleepGP knows that every patient is different and one solution won’t fix every sleep issue. We offer a range of treatment options should the CPAP device not work for you. It is important that you find a treatment that not only manages your condition, but also causes minimum disruption to your life and the lives of those close to you.

Do I have to go to the hospital for a sleep study?

At SleepGP, we offer sleep studies in the comfort of your own home AND you skip the waiting lists that can be up to 6 months.

How do I get diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea?

Once you have completed your sleep study, the data will be sent to our Sleep Technician who will ‘score’ your study and look for any signs of Sleep Apnoea. The results will then be passed onto our Sleep Physician who will examine the results, make a final conclusion and suggest possible treatment options. The report will be sent to the Doctor that referred you.

Ear Clinic FAQ

Why is Ear Wax important?

Ear Wax is normal in healthy amounts and works as a self-cleaning agent with protective, lubricating, and antibacterial properties. If you don’t have enough of it, it may result in dry and itchy ears.

Should I use cotton buds to clean my ears?

No, cotton buds can actually push the wax further into the ear canal, compacting it and risking your chances of rupturing your eardrum.

Why are my ears itchy?

The most common causes of itchy ears are wax build up, fungal infection, allergy, dermatitis or wet ears. A consultation with the Coolangatta Ear Clinic will ensure that the right treatment is prescribed.

What should I do to keep my ears healthy during the summer months?

To avoid getting surfers or swimmers ear, plug your ears to protect them from water and wind. You can also use Aqua Ear to dry the ear canal after swimming.

What is considered a normal amount of wax?

This differs dramatically from person to person. Some patients need their ears cleaned every few months whilst others annually and some patients never require additional cleaning.

What does normal Ear Wax look like?

Wax can be lumpy, dry, flakey, soft or even sticky like honey. It also varies depending on race.

Should I use ear candles?

The short answer is no. Ear candles can not only lead to burns, but they may also block the ear passage and perforate the eardrum. Research also shows that it is ineffective in removing wax build up.

How often should I have a hearing test?

Anyone who is regularly exposed to loud noise should have an annual hearing test. You are encouraged to have a hearing test immediately if you notice a change in your hearing.

I have pain in my ears, what could this mean?

Pain can be caused by a number of issues that include wax accumulation, ear canal infection, eardrum infection or fluid in the middle ear. Pain in the ear is not normal and you should consult a doctor.