Seasonal ENT problems | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 11, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 11, 2018

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Seasonal ENT problems

Monsoon, with its bright sunshine, humidity, and rainfall, is quite loved by some, especially the getting drenched in the rain after the scorching heat part. But for others, it's a dreadful time, as just a few drops of rain can trigger bouts of sneezing and a runny nose for days. It makes life very difficult and embarrassing for the sufferers, as the patient has to blow and clean the nose constantly.

People suffering from these kinds of symptoms are usually suffering from Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis. This is usually due to the patient being allergic to the weather conditions. The rain water, the dampness, along with the heat and humidity, can be a triggering factor. If the patient takes an anti-allergic drug they might get some relief but sometimes it's not enough. That is when the patient needs to consult with a specialist who will put them on decongestant drugs, nasal drops or sometimes steroid nasal sprays, depending on the condition of the patient. Some of these patients also have a blocked nose due to long term disease, which has not been treated properly. These are swollen turbinates (tissues inside the nasal wall) which cause the blockage of the nose and makes breathing difficult for the patient. This also has to be treated to get good results. If allergic rhinitis remains untreated for a long time the patient may develop sinusitis, headache, asthma and other complications. The patients' quality of life is decreased and sometimes they get very frustrated. It is very important to get treatment at an early stage to avoid complications later on. Consulting with a specialist and getting proper treatment will definitely help the patient to lead a better life.

Itching ears, is like a die-hard habit for some patients. They have to put either cotton buds, sticks, feathers or even the corner of a cloth inside their ears and scratch it. What these people don't know is that in this damp monsoon weather there is fungus growing everywhere. Hot and humid is the best environment for fungus to grow. So, the cotton buds, sticks and other stuff all might contain fungus, and once you put it inside your ear it starts growing there. The ears will itch vigorously for a day or two and then the patient complains of earache and a feeling of blockage. There may be discharge coming out of the ears. Due to the itching there may be infection in the ear wall (otitis externa) and this may spread to the ear drum. Some people opt to treat themselves and will put mustard oil inside their ears, sometimes they even heat it up and put inside their ears. This does not help rather aggravates the condition. After consulting the specialist the patient will know that they have a fungal infection of the ear (otomycosis). Usually there are fungal debris present inside the ear which needs to be cleaned before giving antifungal drops. If there is infection of the ear canal, antibiotic drops may also be prescribed. Specially people suffering from diabetes are very prone to these kinds of infection and should be very careful as the infection can spread very easily. The patient has to realize that if proper treatment is not given in time, then this may cause the infection to spread and perforate the ear drum.

Along with the severe bouts of rains there are also severe heat waves during this season which makes us feel like taking ice-cold water, ice-cream and cold juices. For many people these ice-cold drinks are not very good as they cause sore throat and fever. Tonsillitis and pharangitis is a common problem during this season. Also because of the weather, viruses are a common problem during this time of year.  As children and elderly have a low immunity, it is seen that they are affected most by viral diseases. So, we see lots of cases of mumps, measles, and other viral infections. Sore throat and runny nose are usually an added symptom to these diseases. Consulting with a specialist and getting appropriate treatment is the best way to solve these problems.

 

Photo: Collected

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