“Mucormycosis has been declared as an epidemic now. After COVID, it is the next fast emerging threat, and the need of the hour is early diagnosis and timely treatment. To minimize the delay in accessing timely treatment for patients, L V Prasad Eye Institute has introduced a hotline number – 18002002211. People can call any time on this number between 9:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday for any queries regarding Mucormycosis. In Telangana, LVPEI has a quaternary eye care centre and three city centres at Hyderabad. We also have secondary centres across Adilabad, Bhadradri Kothagudem, Nagarkurnool, Nirmal, Rangareddy, Kothur and Siddipet. In cases where immediate care is needed, our counsellors will share with the caller the contact address of the nearest LVPEI Centre in their vicinity. For the benefit of patients who cannot travel, we are even offering teleconsultation services,” informs Dr Tarjani Vivek Dave, Oculoplasty Surgeon, L V Prasad Eye Institute.
What is Mucormycosis?
Mucormycosis is a fungal infection of the sinuses, eye and brain. The term Black Fungus used for Mucormycosis is a misnomer.
Who is most likely to get Mucormycosis?
Patients with uncontrolled diabetes mellitus or those that have been treated with steroids for COVID-19 infection are most likely to get Mucormycosis. Patients who had required admission and oxygen treatment for COVID-19 are also at a risk. Patients suffering with other immune deficiencies, post organ transplant and those who have suffered extensive burns are also at risk.
What are the common symptoms of Mucormycosis?
· Nasal stuffiness and sinusitis
· Pain over the sinuses
· Dental pain
· Sudden Decreased vision or loss of vision
· Drooping of the upper eyelid (ptosis)
· Swelling over the eyelids
· A black lesion in the mouth or the nose
What should I do if I think I have Mucormycosis?
Please consult your ENT and Eye doctors at the earliest.
What is the treatment?
Mucormycosis is a very invasive infection with significant morbidity and mortality. An MRI scan is generally done to find out the extent of Mucormycosis.
Early and localized infections can be treated with sinus surgery, intravenous and local anti-fungal injections followed by a long course of oral anti-fungal medications. Extensively spread of infections require aggressive sinus surgery to clear the internal contents of the cheekbones and injections behind the eye. In a lot of these cases unfortunately, the entire eyeball may need to be removed in order to contain the infection and avoid fatality.
Your Eye and ENT doctors will examine you and ask for MRI scans. Based on the scans, they will guide you on the required treatment.
Will my eye be removed?
This is a decision that your doctor will take once an entire eye and sinus examination, and an MRI scan have been done.