Nowadays many post covid patients are being admitted in OCHRI ENT Department with complaints of facial swelling, purulent discharge from the nose, double vision/ sudden loss of vision/ diminished vision, blackening of the skin near nose & eyes with rapid deterioration of general condition. These are some symptoms of rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis. As the name suggests rhino-orbital-cerebral mucormycosis spread rapidly from the nose to the eye and the brain. Once it spreads to the brain it is considered very critical.
Dr. Nandu Kolwadkar- OCHRI ENT Surgeon informed that, “Covid 19 is caused by SARS-CoV-2 and is seen to affect people with low immunity. It also causes severe inflammatory changes and makes the body more prone to other diseases. An elderly person having comnditions like diabetes, hypertension, thyroid disorders, renal issues, etc. Is more prone to opportunistic fatal fungal infections like mucormycosis.
Dr. Samir Choudhary- OCHRI Endoscopic ENT Surgeon added that Mucormycosis is emerging as a significant challenge in the second wave of Covid 19 infections. This is a rare but serious fungal infection, and usually poses no serious threat to those with a healthy immune system.
However, we are now noticing a rise in mucormycosis amongst people having High blood sugar and low immune function. Most vulnerable patients to mucormycosis are those who have been treated with steroids and other drugs for COVID-19 essentially required to reduce inflammation, he added.
All these patients require regular debridement, major surgery and management with antifungal drugs and other allied medical treatment as per protocol. Mostly they do recover well, if picked on time. However timely diagnosis helps in saving the eyes and spread to brain.
The most commonly affected areas by mucor includes nose, sinuses, eyes and brain. Patients discharged after COVID-19 are being asked to seek immediate medical attention if they notice any symptoms such as: facial swelling, dental pain, numbness, eye swelling, bloody or black- brown discharge from the nose. Team OCHRI has started advising all discharged Covid patients to undertake follow-up Nasal endoscopy and MRI of sinuses after 10 days. Dr. Sidharth Saoji- OCHRI Endoscopist is providing daily nasal endoscopy services for post covid patients at OCHRI ENT OPD.