The COVID-19 pandemic not only disrupted our daily activities but also questioned our visit to the hospitals
and clinic. An apparent fear encapsulated our minds and rendered us helpless at times.
Apart from the COVID warriors, the medical professionals in the stream of ENT, gynaecology, ophthalmology,
orthopedy, etc., had to face the doubts of taking up patients. For patients, consulting even for ear pain or
nose bleed became an arduous task because of COVID fear.
But the Ministry of Health in India, took specific steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the medical
In this article, we will see how the ENT specialists in Kolkata, in compliance with the government rule, devised a protective environment for patients to get consulted during COVID-19 times.
Protocols Designed for Visiting An ENT Specialist
ENT is a high-risk area, prone to the spread of COVID-19 infection among the patients and the doctors. The
following protocols or SOPs have been set up by the government for the ENT specialists and the patients to
get better treatment and avoid the COVID-19 virus.
- Telecommunication or online consultation should always be preferred between the doctor and the patient
to avoid physical interaction. Even after the surgery, patients should be advised to take a follow-up through
- Only one patient should be allowed in the examination room.
- Patients with appointments should be preferred over walk-in patients.
- Ensure the patient and the ENT specialist is wearing masks, hand gloves, and maintaining social distancing.
- Use sanitisers before entering.
- Patients are screened using thermal, thermal guns to reduce the exposure to the medical staff.
- Patients with symptoms of COVID-19 are screened in a separate COVID-19 Screening Clinic to ensure the
safety of other ENT patients.
- Personnels screening the patients have to wear a PPE kit.
- All the patients and their caretakers must wear a tripled layer mask and a gown.
Precautions Within ENT OPD Room
- ENT OPD room must be well-ventilated.
- The ENT specialists must wear a Level I PPE kit that includes an N95 mask, gloves, gown, and face shield.
- For unavoidable Nasal Endoscopy, doctors and nurses must wear Level II PPE kit that includes an N95 mask,
gloves, cover-all gown, and goggles. Generally, this is to avoid any risk from the aerosol generation during
- Patients with COVID-19 symptoms should be treated in separate wards. Only after the COVID-19 negative
report, they should be shifted to the ENT ward.
- Only one care-taker of the patient should be allowed in the ward. The care-taker should also be screened
- Operation and ENT instruments must be sterilised as per the standard protocol.
- Ward should be cleaned and disinfected regularly.
- A distance of two meters between the patients’ bed is compulsory.
- Belongings of the patients must be kept to a minimum.
- All the furniture in the ward must be kept to a minimum and cleaned regularly.
- Visitors should not be allowed.
- A separate ward should be marked for the tracheostomised patients or the patients with a high potential
of aerosol generation.
The above points are the significant protocols required for ENT consultation. ENT symptoms involve ear pain, nose bleed, sore throat, snoring, hearing loss, etc. The respiratory organs are more prone to the COVID-19 virus. Thus, ENT becomes a crucial branch to follow the safety protocols during such a pandemic.
Ear health is often ignored by many people. Ears are important as they help us hear various sounds. Today, renowned ENT specialists from ILS Hospitals – Kolkata and Agartala will share some useful tips that will help you maintain good ear health.
Follow these below-mentioned tips by our ENT experts for good hearing health.
Use of earphones/headphones/earbuds at a lower volume
Nowadays, everyone uses earphones or headphones while listening to music and watching videos online. Earbuds have come into existence as well. We don’t want you to stop using them, but we would highly recommend you to use such devices at lower volumes. Also, clean your earbuds and headphones regularly.
Clean your ears the right way
Cleaning your ear should not be overlooked as the accumulation of ear wax can impair hearing. Do not clean your ears with Q – tips, instead soak a cotton ball into warm water and clean the outer part of your ears gently. Remember to not push the ear wax towards the ear canal. In case of earwax blockage, you should refer to an ENT specialist.
Use earplugs when exposed to loud noises
Long exposure to loud noises can cause hearing loss. Take precautions and wear noise-baring earplugs.
Don’t insert anything inside your ear
Don’t insert anything into your ear, not even your own finger to avoid injuries or infections in the ear canal.
Visit an ENT specialist every year
If you want to ensure good ear health, visit an expert ENT specialist for your annual ear check-up. If you use a hearing aid then you should visit your ENT doctor more frequently. You can visit our hospital units in Kolkata and Agartala to get medical consultations from our ENT professionals.
Eat healthy and do not stress as stress does no good to your ears. For any health-related advice, visit ILS Hospitals, one of the best hospitals in Kolkata and Agartala.
What is a mouth ulcer? Mouth ulcers or informally known as canker sores are white or red bruises that occur on areas like- inside the mouth, cheek, gums, tongue and even lips. We all have witnessed canker sores at some point in our lives and know how annoying and painful they can get. Generally, mouth ulcers can be self-treated but if it prolongs for, say, three and a half weeks, then it’s a serious condition and you need to get medical supervision from the hospital at that immediate moment.
Let us now know the causes behind these unbearable mouth ulcers.
Brushing vigorously with a hard-bristled toothbrush
Using toothpaste and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulphate or other harsh chemicals
Improper oral hygiene
Unintentional bites inside the tongue and cheeks
Being allergic to certain foods like eggs, coffee, nuts, citrus foods (such as lemons, apples, tomatoes, strawberries), chocolates and so on
Side effects of some medicines
Deficiency of iron, zinc, vitamin B-12 and folate
Incorrect dentures or new braces
Infections caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi
Constant stress and anxiety
The symptoms associated with mouth sores are visual and include the following:
– Swelling and redness in the affected area
– Facing difficulties while brushing teeth
– Problems in eating spicy, sour and salty foods
– Poor appetite.
Mouth ulcers are common and can get self-healed but if you frequently get them, then it becomes a problem and you should seek medical help from a good hospital or clinic.
The diagnosis is a visual exam for mouth ulcers and in case of recurring and serious mouth ulcers, other diagnostic tests are prescribed by the concerned doctor.
Here are some ways to self-treat mouth ulcers. Let’s look at them below:
Drink plenty of cold fluids preferably through a reusable glass straw (because environment matters too)
Applying a cold compress to the sore area
Avoid eating spicy, sour and salty foods
Avoid drinking too hot or cold beverages
Do not chew any gum
Gargle with warm saltwater
Get medically-prescribed medicines.
If you get no respite from your mouth ulcer, then visit your dentist or an ENT specialist without any excuses.
There’s no sure-fire way to prevent mouth ulcers but we can always avoid them to some extent by
– Using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild toothpaste
– Avoiding foods that trigger allergies
– Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet
– Getting regular dental check-ups from a clinic or hospital.
For getting medical assistance, contact ILS Hospitals in Kolkata and Agartala.
Saying goes- one the most beautiful things in the world is the music. It has no barrier in language or any other constraints. Unfortunately, it becomes insignificant if one is impaired in hearing. There could be several reasons for the same. According to ENT specialist, one can either lose their hearing power gradually over time, suddenly, due to an accident or they could be born with this disability.
Thankfully, there are several medical arrangements for the same in today’s era. ENT Specialists these days are using an exceptionally powerful implant called the Cochlear Implant – A revolutionary medical approach that enables the majority of the patient to experience sound.
The cochlear implant is a medical electronic device. It can be considered as an alternative mechanism to compensate for the improper function of the inner ear. It is more advanced as compared to hearing aids, which only enhances the intensity of external sounds. The cochlear implant, on the other hand, bypasses the damaged inner ear and propagate the signal directly to the brain.
Cochlear implant is helpful for the patients with the following conditions-
- Moderate to significant hearing loss in one/both ears
- Had very little or no help from the hearing aids
- Score less than 50 (sometimes 60) percent on sentence recognition, evaluated by hearing professionals.
Several people are bilateral, i.e. have these implant in both ears. It can improve various functions of the ears, such as identifying the direction of sound or to segregate the desired sounds from the undesired ones.
Our success story
Recently, a patient had a successful cochlear implant surgery at one of our facilities, i.e. in ILS Hospital Agartala. The patient was very young, a boy of about five. Being a child of only five years of age, a significant learning period was ahead of him. Since hearing is a huge step of learning itself, this implant will help him direct his life towards a new and better direction.
Needless to say, this implant will make a significant change in his life from now on. A glimpse of his positive life ahead, can be seen by the letter of acknowledgement sent by his father. We hope and pray for his healthy and prosperous life.
Also, we encourage the parents and guardians of such children to come ahead and get evaluated for the same. A little awareness and efforts can make their lives so much better.
Most of us prefer to speak more than they prefer to hear, despite of the fact that our body has been designed with two ears and a mouth. But with multiple ears, we come across multiple ear diseases. According to ENT specialists, several people often ignore these diseases until it becomes a serious threat.
On that note, let’s have a look at the 5 most common ear diseases:
1. Ear Infection
Almost every individual suffers at least once of ear infection. It is caused by bacterial pathogen which enters through the tear of the ear skin. It can be characterized by pain, inflammation, redress and smelly discharge from the ear. Its treatment is usually limited to the use of antibacterial medication applied either topically or orally.
2. Swimmer’s Ear
This disease causes inflammation of the ear canal. It is caused by an excess amount of moisture trapped inside the ear canal and can eventually lead to infection as well. It can be characterized by non-smelly discharge along with itching. It can even cause fever and lymph nodes swelling in later stages.
3. Boils in the Ear
This disease occurs due to the bacterial infection on the surface of the ear. It is characterized by a small bump that protrudes from the ear. It is usually accompanied by pain and itchiness. Upon bursting, it may release some pus and discharge. Often it resolves on its own, but painkillers and antibiotics can be prescribed for quicker recovery.
Tinnitus can be easily characterized by experiencing a ringing sound in one or both ears. However, people may also experience a buzzing, clicking, roaring or even hissing sound. It may either be high pitch or low pitch and varies from people to people. Several times healing of this disease happen on their own, but at times sound therapy or tinnitus retraining therapy etc. is done to cure it totally.
Barotrauma in caused due to sudden change of air or water pressure. It usually happens during cruising, scuba diving or mountain hiking. It begins with hearing popping sounds, which leads to dizziness, hearing loss and pain. Decongestants may be prescribed by the doctor to address it. However, in the time of duress ENT specialists advises that yawning, swallowing or chewing can help to ease the pain and relieve the pressure.
In case you encounter any problem associated with ear, which seems to persist or recur, consult an ENT.
Stands for Ear, Nose and Throat. The department of medical science that deals with these three domains together. A specialized doctor in this domain is called Otolaryngologist, or more commonly as ENT itself.
Why it is so important?
Ears, nose and throat are vital parts of the body. Let’s have a look at these crucial organs and learn what may go wrong with it.
Ears – It is the sensory organs that enable us to hear sounds around us. Moreover, it contributes towards an overall balance of the body.
Nose – It is another sensory organ that enables us the sense of smell. It also contributes partially towards taste and filter the air entering through the nostrils as a defense mechanism.
Throat – It provides the passage for air, water and food to reach the wind pipe and food pipe respectively.
Malfunction of these organs can affect the quality of life significantly. In certain cases, it can even become a medical emergency. In case a problem in any of these organs persists, proper treatment should be sought without delay.
So, what are the common ENT problems and their symptoms?
The most common ENT disorders and their respective symptoms are –
- Ear infection – germs entering the ear gets trapped causing ear infection. Children are more likely to get infected with it. If left untreated for long duration, it can significantly affect the hearing and speech development of the child.
Symptoms of ear infection are
a) Hearing loss
b)Drainage from ear
c)Difficulty with balance
d)Pain in the ear
e)Pulling or tugging the ear in children
- Sinus infection – Sinuses are the cavities located inside the skull surrounding the nose and eyes and contributes to the vocal resonance. Sinus infection occurs when a pathogen such as bacteria or virus enters the sinus cavities.
Symptoms of sinus infection are
a) Runny nose
b) Difficulty in breathing
c) Constant coughing or sneezing
e) Sharp pain around the eyes and bridge of nose
f) Bad breath and toothache
- Tonsillitis – According to ENT specialists in ILS Hospitals, most of the people suffer from mild tonsil infection at least once in life. But occasionally it gets severe due to inflammation to that extent when passage of air gets blocked and swallowing becomes difficult. In these circumstances, the removal of tonsil becomes inevitable, though nowadays this medical procedure is executed rarely.
Symptoms of Tonsillitis are
a) Difficulty in swallowing food and water
b) Change in voice
c) Persistent strep throat
d) No significant effect of antibiotics
ENT specialist should be consulted and proper treatment should be availed as soon as any of such symptoms persist for a long time.
According to Cardiologist, on an average, about 303,000 newborns die within 4 weeks post detection, as a result of congenital diseases. Congenital diseases are present due to some medical deformities during the time of birth. Congenital disease can cause long term disability, which may have adverse effects on survival and development. Several times it remains unclear regarding the exact cause of this congenital defects.
Here are the 3 most common congenital defects a baby may suffer from:
1. Congenital Heart Disorder
It is the medical condition in which there exists a problem in the heart structure since the time of birth. Its symptoms may either be absent or may vary from mild discomfort to life-threatening condition such as heart failure. It can be distinguished by presence of bluish skin, low birth weight and fatigue.
The exact cause for congenital heart disease often remains unknown. Mother’s infected with Rubella during the period of pregnancy may act as a contributing factor for the same. Additional factors during pregnancy such as consumption of alcohol or tobacco or some specific medication may also play a significant role for the same.
2. Down Syndrome
This medical condition is also called Trisomy 21, in which a third copy of chromosome number 21 present alters the genetic makeup. It affects adversely on the physical growth and mental development. It can be characterized by observing delayed growth and moderate intellectual disabilities. A grown up individual suffering from down syndrome possess an average IQ of 50, which is equivalent to mental age of a child of eight years old.
The possibility of having down-syndrome is associated with the mother’s age. The risk of suffering from it is about 3 percent for pregnant woman with age more than 45, this risk minimizes to 0.1 percent in case the woman is 20 years
3. Cleft lip and Cleft palate
Also called orofacial cleft, this is a class of defects that include either cleft lip, cleft palate or both. In a cleft lip, an opening may stretch till nose. It may be present either on one side, both sides or in the middle. In a cleft palate, an opening exist between the roof of mouth and nose. These conditions arise when joining of tissues does not occur effectively.
According to ENT Specialists of ILS Hospitals, if this condition is left untreated, it can interfere with feeding, speech and hearing function. It also causes persistent ear infection. Consumption of alcohol or tobacco or even obesity during pregnancy has been associated with this group of diseases.