What is Swollen Uvula?
The uvula is a small, fleshy red mass that hangs from the soft palate above the base of the tongue and screens everything that enters the throat. “Uvula” means “large grape” derived from the Latin, and it does resemble a grape in its shape. It is responsible for foods entering the stomach. It also acts as a barrier against the bacteria, and other microorganisms that would enter and affect the digestive system. A swollen uvula, also known as uvulitis, occurs when there is an inflammation in organ.
Symptoms of Swollen Uvula
Swollen Uvula can be perceived by its many symptoms, most of which are not externally visible. However, inflammation of the uvula can sometimes be seen from the outside. Diagnosis by an experienced medical professional can identify the presence of a swollen uvula.
One of the more common symptoms of Swollen Uvula is a sore throat, characterized by dryness in the throat that is not removed by drinking water, causing discomfort as well as tightness and irritation. The pain persists even if the person affected does not swallow anything. Swallowing food can be made difficult due to the inflammation, causing throat pain similar to that of swollen tonsils. In many cases, the tonsils can also become inflamed, increasing pain. Another symptom that might be experienced is frequent headaches. Voice modulation might also prove difficult, leading to hoarseness of voice. Frequently, pus will accumulate in the throat of the patient. This, combined with the irritation, can give the person an urge to cough, as well as an urge to vomit. In many cases the person also suffers from a fever.
Causes of Swollen Uvula
There are various causes of Swollen Uvula cases. The most common cause is dehydration in the mouth, usually caused by excessive alcohol and cigarette consumption. Another frequent reason would be due to a viral infection. Infection by the Epstein-Barr virus can create soreness of throat and swelling of the uvula. Consuming hot beverages can also cause a swollen epiglottis. A swelling in the uvula can also be caused by bacterial infection, particularly infections with bacteria of the Streptococcus variety (called Strep Throat). Other diseases such as diphtheria, chicken pox, measles, viral pharyngitis and even common cold can also result in an inflammation of the uvula. As mentioned before, tonsillitis can lead to this condition as well. In the case of foreign objects, like chicken bones or fish bones getting lodged in the throat, an inflammation of the tissues and a swollen uvula can ensue. Occasionally, surgical operations of the throat like adenoidectomy or tonsillectomy can create side effects which can cause the uvula to become swollen.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Swollen Uvula
This condition is usually diagnosed by medical doctors. It is important to ascertain all the symptoms, due to the symptoms being mostly internal in nature. Physical tests can be performed by the doctor to establish information on the disease as well as rule out the possibility of other disorders affecting the person.
Home treatment might be an option with mild cases of swelling in the uvula, but with severe inflammation doctor's treatment is compulsory.