Have you ever wondered what causes an inflamed uvula? If you are troubled with this condition, then read this article in order to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Stand opposite a mirror and open you mouth wide. What do you see in there apart from your teeth and tongue? A small hanging ball right at the back of your mouth. That hanging ball is called the uvula. It is made up of muscular fibers, racemose glands, and a few connective tissues. This small little ball has a very important function. It helps in articulation of the human voice that helps us speak. However, sometimes one tends to suffer from an inflamed uvula.
There are plenty of causes. One of them includes dehydration during hot and arid weather. It can also occur due to excessive smoking. The inhaled irritants causes the uvula to become inflamed and leads to snoring. Swollen uvula after drinking very hot or cold fluids may also be one of the causes. A viral or bacterial infection can also give rise to this condition.
Other causes include ingested substances, like highly acidic foods, spicy and hot substances, or irritants like alcohol. Sometimes, undergoing an endoscopic examination or intubation can lead to this state. When one suffers from cold, it causes nasal congestion. This leads to mouth breathing that causes edema of the uvula. Another condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be a major cause. The acidic juices from the stomach rises up to the throat causing irritation and swelling. People who carry out uvula piercing may also suffer from the condition.
This condition is known as uvulitis in medical terms. Inflammation that leads to swollen uvula and causes considerable pain along with redness. When food, water, or saliva touches the uvula, it causes considerable pain. It affects the voice tone and voice quality due to swelling. It gives rise to a feeling of gagging when it reaches the tongue or throat due to increase in size as a result of the swelling and inflammation. For this reason, people often feel like vomiting. There is feeling of wanting to cough. Fever and headache are common as well. Since the voice is affected, it feels hoarse while talking. It is difficult to swallow food.
The treatment generally includes use of antihistamine medications. An over-the-counter painkiller will help in reducing the pain and swelling. If you develop this condition frequently, get yourself checked for allergies. Seek treatment for acid reflux, if it causes irritation of the uvula.
Some home remedies can help hasten the treatment process. First of all, if you are a smoker, stop smoking. This will help reduce the irritation that leads to swelling and inflammation. Also, avoid alcohol, as it will irritate the throat further leading to pain. Drink lots of fluids, as they will avoid dehydration and dry mouth. You should drink more of carrot juice and grape juice. If you are suffering from an infection, gargle your mouth with salt water. This will decrease the infection and inflammation. You should drink a spoonful of mixture containing honey and lemon. This will help reduce the swelling.
This condition does not indicate anything serious or fatal. Most of the time, the inflammation resolves on its own. For recurrent inflammation, speak to your doctor for medical help.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.