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). NB: any over the counter medications shown here are for illustration purposes only and not an endorsement or promotion.
Dr. Choffor: Thank you very much HILPharma, always a pleasure. Sore throat is a broad non-medical term that describes throat irritation/pain. It is a symptom not a disease or condition.
Dr. Choffor: About 1-2 in 10 patients I receive present with sore throat. Note however, this is approximate.
Dr. Choffor: Sore throat can be caused by germs (viruses mostly), irritation from allergies or acid reflux, and even more serious conditions like cancer.
Anyone can have a sore throat.
Dr. Choffor: well for starters, a sore throat obviously! Other associated symptoms could be dry cough, catarrh, or the feeling that something is in your throat.
- 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. Tests done will depend on the suspected cause.
Dr. Choffor: again really broad term, treatment will depend on the cause. Sore throat caused by germs (mostly viruses), will go away by themselves, without the need of any medications.
- Gargling warm salty water (remember to not swallow)
- Lozenges, pastilles, mouth wash or throat sprays that can be bought at a local pharmacy
- Simple painkillers like paracetamol can help ease the pain.
Important to see a doctor immediately if sore throat is not resolved after a week.
Antibiotics are rarely necessary and if needed, will be prescribed by your doctor.
Other causes of sore throat may require different types of medications like medications for acid reflux or inflammation.
Dr. Choffor: depending on the severity of sore throat, it could lead to poor quality of life (difficulty sleeping, pain and hence affect work performance)
Dr. Choffor: Practice proper hygiene always and especially beside people who are sick. Early medical advice in all cases.
Dr. Choffor: The most common is the fact that people think they always need an antibiotic to treat sore throat. This is far from true!
Also often called “Hausa sick”. Patients tend to go to the traditional doctor to have their tonsils cut. This is very dangerous as we have received patients with extensive infections and profuse bleeding following this. As a result, patient will spend enormously, let alone morbidity and even mortality (death!) in some cases
- Avoid antibiotics without a medical prescription
- Always tell your doctor of any other medication you are taking to avoid interaction
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).
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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.