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).
- HILPharma: Hello Dr. Choffor and welcome to our ENT series. Today we will be talking about tonsilitis. What is tonsillitis?
Dr. Choffor: Thank you very much HILPharma, always a pleasure. Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils. The tonsils are found at the back of the throat, one on each side. They play a role in developing the body’s defense against disease.
- HILPharma: in your practice, on average how many patients do you see with allergic rhinitis per day or per month?
Dr. Choffor: About 1-2 in 10 of my consultations are cases of tonsilitis. Note however, this is approximate.
- HILPharma: What causes it and who is more likely to get it?
Dr. Choffor: Tonsillitis is caused by germs viruses mostly, bacteria in some cases. Most common bacterium is Group A Strep.
Anyone can have tonsilitis, though it is more common in children.
- HILPharma: What are the likely signs and symptoms?
Dr. Choffor: Most common are a sore throat, pain, difficulty to swallowing due to pain and fever.
In children you may notice unusual irritability or refusal to eat.
- HILPharma: how do you diagnose a person with tonsillitis? 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. I might also request a throat swab in some cases, when I suspect a Strep infection.
- HILPharma: How does one treat tonsillitis?
Dr. Choffor: Treatment will depend on the cause of the infection.
If caused by viruses, it usually goes away by itself after a few days (7-10). Home remedies could include:
- Gargling with warm salty water many times through out the day
- Drinking plenty fluids
- Some over the counter lozenges or throat sprays available at your local pharmacy
- Getting plenty rest
- Painkillers like paracetamol can help ease the pain and/or fever.
Antibiotics are only required when the cause is bacterial and this is determined by your doctor.
For re-occuring cases and those resistant to antibiotic treatment, we might have to do a surgery: tonsillectomy. This is a surgery to remove the tonsils.
- HILPharma: What are the possible complications if someone delays treatment or poorly treats tonsillitis?
Dr. Choffor: Complications are rare but poorly treated tonsillitis could lead to a tonsillar abscess, deep neck abscess, rheumatic heart disease, or kidney complications.
- HILPharma: so doctor how does one prevent tonsillitis?
Dr. Choffor: Practice proper hygiene.
- 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: 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 (illness) and even mortality (death!) in some cases
- HILPharma: Any medication safety tips you would want to share?
- 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
- How to take liquid medications
- How to use a mouth spray
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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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