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Home Treatment for a Swollen or Inflamed Uvula

Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Causes of a Swollen Uvula

The uvula is the small piece of tissue that hangs down in the back of your throat which serves no real purpose other than to possibly prevent food and liquids from going up into the nasal cavity. The uvula is composed of the same mucus membrane that lines your mouth and throat. Inflammation or swelling occurs usually because of a bacterial infection. Similar to what happens when we get a sore throat, the bacterial infection occurs because of dehydration or drying out of the mucus membrane. When the tissue become dry, small cracks can appear in the surface which give a foothold for bacteria to grow. Normally water secreted from the mucus membrane along with saliva produced in the mouth help to continually cleanse the uvula of bacteria, but dehydration can drastically reduce the amount produced.

Treating the Cause and Symptoms of a Swollen Uvula

As with the treatment of most symptoms, there are two different issues that must be addressed. The first is to treat the actual symptom, and secondly, treat the underlying cause of that symptom.

Inflamed Uvula Treatment Options

So in this case, we need to treat the swollen, inflamed and painful uvula, and at the same time, try to help the body fight off the bacterial infection that is probably causing the problem. In many situations, people make the mistake of only fighting or hiding the symptoms, which can cause a greater medical condition later on.

Dehydration as a Cause of a Swollen Uvula

The most probable cause is dehydration that leads to a bacterial infection. In order to help fight off the bacterial infect, it is important to become hydrated again. Drinking water is almost always helpful during any type of infection, but when it involves a swollen or inflamed uvula or throat even more so because not only will the water help the tissue repel bacteria, but just drinking the water will physically wash some of the bacteria away. It is also important to make sure to take vitamins, since a weakened immune system is often caused by poor nutrition. Finally, if the condition continues for more than 24 hours and appears to be getting worse, or if there is a fever involved, it is time to consult a doctor and possibly use antibiotics.

Treating the Symptoms of a Swollen Uvula

As far as treating the painful, swollen and inflamed uvula the options are pretty simple. Any over-the-counter pain medication will help with the pain. In order to reduce swelling, which may be causing some coughing, you can gargle with salt water. Finally, drinking a hot beverage with honey added can help soothe the inflammation and reduce the pain. The most important thing though is just to drink plenty of water and allow your mucus membranes to protect you properly, and give your immune system the nutrients necessary to fight off the infection.

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