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 vertigo. What is vertigo?
Dr. Choffor: Thank you very much HILPharma, always a pleasure. Vertigo (symptom) is a sensation of spinning or turning around, without actual spinning.
- HILPharma: In your practice, on average how many patients do you see with vertigo per day or per month?
Dr. Choffor: About 1 in 10 of my consultations are cases of vertigo.
- HILPharma: What causes it and who is more likely to get it?
Dr. Choffor: Vertigo (peripheral form) is caused by an abnormal signal sent to the brain concerning the body’s posture.
Most common form is called BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), caused by displacement of some structures located in the part of the inner ear responsible for balance.
Anybody can experience vertigo
- HILPharma: What are the likely signs and symptoms?
Dr. Choffor: Associated to this feeling could be nausea, vomiting, loss of balance, light-headedness
- HILPharma: How do you diagnose a person with vertigo? 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. There is also videonystagmography, available in some private institutions.
- HILPharma: How does one treat vertigo?
Dr. Choffor: Treatment will depend on the cause. BPPV will go away without medication.
Some medication could help with nausea or anxiety. Physical exercise and physiotherapy can help to restore balance early (Semont manoeuvre for BPPV, easy and practical videos are available on youtube).
- HILPharma: What are the possible complications if someone delays treatment or poorly treat vertigo?
Dr. Choffor: Increased risk of injury
- HILPharma: So doctor how does one prevent vertigo?
- It may be tempting to try to avoid rapid head movements but this will only prolong recovery. Do not be scared to move, just make sure you avoid situations that expose you to injury.
- Consult your ENT early to prevent complications.
- 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: Patients associate vertigo with stroke! Vertigo can be very scary but as strange as it might sound, it is benign in the majority of cases. No medical treatment is required in most cases!
- HILPharma: Any medication safety tips you would want to share?
- 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).
More with Dr. Choffor (ENT)
- 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.