This is an interview blog post with Dr. CHOFFOR NCHINDA Emmanuel (MD)an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist at the Buea Regional Hospital (BRH). Any medication named here is not an endorsement or promotion of the product. It is for illustrative purposes only.
- HILPharma: Hello Dr. Choffor and welcome to our ENT series. Today we will be talking about sinusitis. What is sinusitis?
Dr. Choffor: Thank you very much HILPharma, always a pleasure. Sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities.
The sinus cavities are small air pockets located behind your forehead, nose, cheekbones, and in between the eyes. The sinuses produce mucus, which is a thin and flowing liquid that protects the body by trapping and moving germs away (Source: Healthline)
- HILPharma: In your practice, on average how many patients do you see with sinusitis per day or per month?
Dr. Choffor: About 1-2 in 10 of my consultations are cases of sinusitis. Note however, this is approximate.
- HILPharma: What causes it and who is more likely to get it?
Dr. Choffor: Sinusitis is caused by germs, mostly bacteria.
People with common cold, dental problems or conditions that cause persistent irritation of the nose.
- HILPharma: What are the likely signs and symptoms?
Dr. Choffor: Facial pain, nose blockage, nasal puss discharge, fever, bad odor from mouth or nose.
- HILPharma: how do you diagnose a person with sinusitis? i.e. what do you usually do like…ear exam, history etc…if any tests are needed? and approx cost in Cameroon (public and private)
Dr. Choffor: I will most likely take the patient’s history by asking a few questions, do a physical examination. Endoscopy, a procedure to see the inside of the nose and the entrance of the sinus cavity (available at Buea Regional Hospital for 22.500 XAF), skull X-ray (about 8.000 XAF), CT-Scan in few persistent cases (approximately 80.000 XAF)
- HILPharma: How does one treat sinusitis?
Nasal decongestants (help clear up congestion of the nose) and nasal irrigation with normal saline.
Sometimes your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic. Simple painkillers too can help ease the pain.
Surgery is useful for chronic/recurrent cases.
Types (Source: WebMd)
- Acute sinusitis usually starts with cold-like symptoms such as a runny, stuffy nose and facial pain. It may start suddenly and last 2-4 weeks.
- Subacute sinusitus usually lasts 4 to 12 weeks.
- Chronic sinusitus symptoms last 12 weeks or longer.
- Recurrent sinusitis happens several times a year.
- HILPharma: What are the possible complications if someone delays treatment or poorly treats sinusitis?
Dr. Choffor: Complication are rare but a poorly treated sinusitis may lead to facial abscess, brain abscess, meningitis or facial bone infection.
- HILPharma: so doctor how does one prevent sinusitis?
Dr. Choffor: Healthy lifestyle, proper hygiene and avoiding your triggers (allergens). Appropriate treatment of cold and dental problems.
- HILPharma: in your practice, what are some of the myths you noticed from patients and what do you have to say about them?
Dr. Choffor: Recurrent catarrh and nasal blockage is generally called sinusitis. People think it is not treatable and resort to traditional/herbal therapy. Sinusitis is ABSOLUTELY TREATABLE.
Allergic rhinitis, often mixed up with sinusitis, is more difficult to treat and management is holistic and person dependent.
- HILPharma: Any medication safety tips you would want to share?
- Do not use decongestants for more than 5 days.
- Avoid antibiotics without a medical prescription
- Always tell your doctor of any other medication you are taking to avoid interaction
- HILPharma: Thank you so much for your time doctor. Will like to know, how does one book an appointment for a consultation with you?
Dr. Choffor: Easy! Head to Buea Regional Hospital any day, ask to see an ENT and you will be given a precise program for ENT activities. These include consultations, office procedures, surgery, explorations (endoscopy).
For more with Dr. Choffor
- Otitis media (ear infection)
- Allergic rhinitis
- Sore throat
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About Dr. Choffor Nchinda E.
Dr. CHOFFOR NCHINDA Emmanuel is an ENT (Ear, nose and throat) specialist at Buea Regional Hospital, Cameroon. He chose ENT for the diversity of scope and activities, making it somewhat exceptional. When he is not saving lives, he enjoys reading, riding, swimming and gaming.
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