Antibiotic Awareness Week(18th -24th Nov): Why is it advised to Choose Antibiotics Wisely for ENT Infections?

ENTOD Pharmaceuticals

ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) issues are very common among both adults and children. The issues may crop up in different forms including the inability to hear properly, hoarseness, ear pain, vertigo, sinus infections, and more. To treat many of these ENT problems, antibiotics are often prescribed. However, these antibiotics may be doing more harm than good to the body especially if they are oral antibiotics. Therefore, it’s crucial to choose antibiotics properly for ENT infections or diseases.

Oral antibiotics are more likely to lead to antimicrobial resistance – a serious health threat facing our world today. Extensive use of orally administered antibiotics can breed ‘superbugs’. These antibiotic-resistant bacteria can cause a number of serious health problems like urinary tract infections, gonorrhea, tuberculosis and it becomes difficult to treat these infections as antibiotics become less effective. Instead of oral antibiotics, antibiotics ear drops are a much safer option as they don’t go into the bloodstream and more medicine reaches the infection area.

“There are two types of antibiotics – narrow-spectrum antibiotics and broad-spectrum antibiotics. In the case of children below the age of 6 months and those over 12, narrow-spectrum antibiotics are usually not recommended. Also, it is important to understand that antibiotics are not effective against viruses. Broad-spectrum antibiotics that target a wide range of bacteria types contribute to bacterial resistance that limits treatment solutions when drugs that once effectively killed bacteria no longer work. This can result in prolonged illness and even death if alternative treatments cannot be found” said Nikkhil K Masurkar, Executive Director of ENTOD Pharmaceuticals.

“Antibiotics are effective in killing bacteria or stopping their growth. They are unable to treat conditions caused by viruses like bronchitis, cold & flu and many sinus and ear infections. Before antibiotics are prescribed to patients, tests are carried out to check for bacteria. With the help of these tests, a doctor can prescribe the right antibiotics. What is normally observed is that antibiotic resistance occurs when there is misuse or overuse. People who have a hole or tube in the eardrum need to check with their doctor before applying any kind of eardrops. The drops may cause infection, pain or even damage hearing” said Dr. Yogesh Patil (MBBS DLO) ENT, Gajanan Hospital, Pune.

“Antibiotics are usually required only when symptoms last more than a week, start to improve but worsen again, or are very severe. Worrisome symptoms that can warrant immediate antibiotic treatment include extreme pain, a fever over 38.6°C and tenderness over the sinuses, or signs of a skin infection, such as a hot, red rash that quickly spreads” added the doctor.

Prevention is the best way to protect against antibiotic resistance. Good hygiene habits can help fight germs and prevent illness. Immunisation against infections and preparing food in a clean, safe environment are some of the other ways to prevent diseases or infections and in turn, avoid antibiotic resistance.