Swollen Uvulitis Causes, Treatment, Natural Remedies

By Selena Gerrish

December 18, 2015Conditions & DiseasesNo comments

What is a Uvula?

There is a misconception among people regarding an organ which hangs like a grape at the back of our throat. Some people call it tonsils, but actually it is just an elongation of the soft palate in the posterior part of the throat which is known as uvula. The main function of this organ is the prevention of all forms of microorganisms like bacteria from entering into the digestive tract.

Tonsils diagram - swollen uvula

Image courtesy: wikipedia.org

 

What is Uvulitis?

In medical terms Swollen uvula is also called Uvulitis. Infection of the throat may result in the swelling of the uvula. These infections may be bacterial or viral that causes tonsillitis, pharyngitis and epiglottis which generally occurs to children and can lead to breathing problems.

Uvula Function/Purpose

Through history scientists had many theories about the uvula such as, it helped as a guide in the flow of food and water in humans, it contributed to a chronic uvulitis cough leading to sudden infant death and sleep disorder. But in modern version the purpose of uvula is to prevent the entry of any bacterial or viral infections in the digestive tract serves as an accessory to human speech.

What is meant by Swollen Uvula?

Swollen Uvula is an infection which causes an inflammation at the posterior end of our throat. It causes pain and swells the uvula.

Swollen Uvula Causes

Dry throat

Swollen uvula causes dryness of the throat. When people tend to sleep keeping their mouths opened, the throat becomes dry due to dehydration and leads to an inflamed uvula.

Hot beverages and drinks

Consumption of hot food and drinks would burn and result in a swollen red uvula.

Throat Infection

A sore throat can cause tonsillitis and other infections.

Allergies

Due to allergies sore throat and mouth ulcers are responsible for the swelling of uvula.

Swollen Uvula Symptoms

Headaches

An inflamed uvula can give rise to headaches and high fever

Breathing

Due to excess swell you experience breathing problems and choking sensations.

Swallowing

when you have a swollen sore throat as it becomes very difficult to engulf even your own saliva.

Inflamed tonsils

Due to swollen tonsils a patient may experience discomfit in the throat and in the surrounding areas.

Voice quality

A inflamed uvula will transform the voice quality into hoarse and rough.

What does swollen uvula mean?

It means that the due to a severe inflammation in the posterior side of the palate you find it painful to swallow food or drinks. The swelling can be so extreme that you find it difficulty in breathing and feel as you are incapable of inhaling enough oxygen . You will experience your voice is turning into hoarse.

Swollen Uvula Treatment & Diagnosis

To get rid of swollen uvula treatment and remedies are available at your service.

Uvulitis Antibiotics

Antibiotics capsules is most commonly consumed to get rid of the painful swell in the throat.

Antistamines

Antistamines work like steroids on determination of the fact that inflamed uvula are due to allergic conditions.

Surgical operation

In some occasions uvula infections can become a menace and require special diagnosis of a surgeon like during cancer.

Swollen Uvula Home Remedies and Natural Cure

An icy cold drink or chilled lemonade is a favourite choice not only in summers but also during winter. Sudden consumption of extreme cold drinks or shakes may attack your throat giving rise to irritation and pain and consequently swell your uvula. By following a few grandma’s sore throat remedies you can easily get rid of this irritable throat inflammation.

Gargling

The most well known and age old therapeutic remedy employed during the rise of tonsillitis, pain, burning or itching. Out of the many swollen uvula remedies gargling is one of the most effective ways to kill germs and soothe a sore throat.

Salt and water

The most recommended and popular uvulitis cure for inflammed uvula is gargling by adding a pinch of salt in a glass of lukewarm water. According to Mayo clinic there should be a combination of 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 ounces of water. Gargle it for several seconds, spit it out and repeat the procedure again.

Ginger, honey and lemon

This swollen uvula’s home remedy is a mixture of 1 teaspoon of powered ginger and honey in a cup of hot water with a squeeze of lemon. A regular gargle will bring miraculous effect to your swollen throat.

Magic of turmeric

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant capable of fighting many diseases. A regular gargle of lukewarm water with a mix of turmeric and salt will work wonders on your inflamed uvula.

Herbal tea

The next time when your uvula is swollen and you crave for a cup of tea, pamper yourself with a cup of herbal tea embedded with ginger, basil leaves, cloves and black pepper.

Wheatgrass juice

Another beneficial remedy is wheatgrass juice. A quick rinse with this chlorophyll enriched liquid will prohibit the rise of bacteria and erase throat pain.

Stay hydrated

Consumption of liquids during the swell of uvula is very important. When you are dehydrated your body can’t produce enough saliva or mucus for throat lubrication. This will worsen your uvula swelling and inflammation. In order to erase the pain you should be hydrated as water is a great healer.

Ice cubes

It might sound strange as most people prefer hot or lukewarm water or drinks during swelling or inflammation. But it’s true, chewing ice chips can reduce the swelling by numbing the area for a short time. Though it’s a temporary relief, at least you can relax your throat for a moment. If irritation persists consult your local medical practitioner.

Use a Humidifier

Breathing in moist air is very beneficial in the case of swollen nose treatment and throat infections. A humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity of your room. a humidifier adds moisture to the room and when you breathe in the humid air, the dryness in your throat gets relieved and gradually the throat irritation will ease off.

Warm Steam Shower

Steam inhalation or sink filled with hot water can help reduce swelling and ease the pain of a swollen uvula and sore throat. Drape a towel over your head and lean into the vessel or sink to breathe in the steam. Keep on taking deep breaths for several minutes and repeat this process in order to ease your throat pain.

When to visit a Doctor?

  • Severe pain in uvula
  • Suffering from breathing problems
  • Uneasiness resulting from lack of sufficient oxygen
  • Severe pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Lack of oxygen supply resulting in unrest.
  • Gagging and choking reflex
  • Pus or blood from uvula rupture

 

Did you ever Wonder?

  • Had this little fleshy thing been absent then this world would be inhabited with speechless dumb people.
  • Moreover how would you swallow the delicious hamburgers and frothy cold drinks to quench your thirst?
  • Because of the presence of this bodyguard you are protected from the entry of any germs or infections.
  • This unique organ makes us unique individuals different from any other species.

 

What to Remember

  1. Swollen uvula causes an inflammation in the throat resulting in pain.
  2. Protector of the digestive tract by obstructing deadly infections and microorganisms
  3. Serves as an accessory to speech
  4. Also known as uvultis, in medical terminology.
  5. When uvula gets enlarged you suffer from severe pain and irritation.
  6. Swollen tonsils and sore throat are symptoms of enflamed uvula.
  7. Difficulty in breathing, gulping saliva and swallowing due to swollen uvula.
  8. Antibiotics, antihistamines and steriods can provide you pain relief.
  9. Extreme cases surgical operation is conducted for swollen uvula treatment
  10. Homemade herbal solutions prescribed for swollen uvula remedies

 

Interesting facts about Uvula

1. The uvula is very easily damaged and this damage can last a lifetime. Uvula is much softer and much more sensitive than its neighbouring tissues because it lacks tough protective features to physically guard it from damage. So uvula is much prone to inflammation.

2. The problem can grow worse and spread from our uvula to our tonsils or the epiglottis. This intimate partnership also means that an infection of the uvula can easily spread to the tonsils causing a condition known as tonsillitis.

3. One of the important functions of the uvula is its role in our ability to speak. There are also sounds, known as oral pressure consonants,that require the closure of the uvula against the back of our throat creating something known as the velopharyngeal closure.

4. The uvula plays a crucial role in this process of covering our nasal. A damaged uvula can become unable to create a perfect closure against the throat, leading to a condition known as nasal regurgitation where swallowed food constantly gets pushed into the nasal cavity and is literally regurgitated out the nose.

5. The uvula causes sleep disorder that severely affects your heart, liver, lungs, brain and even lowers your life expectancy. In fact a sleep apnea sufferer can stop breathing for up to 30 times an hour, every single night.

6. An enlarged uvula can constantly activate the gag reflex even in the absence of any threat.

7. Our uvula is located in a region of our body that is particularly prone to certain types of cancers. Here are some startling facts about oral cancers:-

  • Over 450,000 new cases of oral cancers occur worldwide each year.
  • Almost 150,000 people die of oral cancer each year
  • Oral cancers account for over 85% of the total number of head and neck cancers
  • The survival rate of a typical newly diagnosed oral cancer case is less than 50%
  • The death rate for oral cancers is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, laryngeal cancer,

 

Conclusion

Some doctors still treat uvulitis patients with sleep disorder by removing the uvula in a process called “uvulopalatopharyngoplasty”. These patients without uvulas were than studied, and researchers learned that uvula is good at excreting a lot of saliva in short span of time.

Scientists are of the opinion that uvula may be one of the things that keeps us apart from other mammals. Just imagine if an alien landed on this Earth and asked you to explain how humans differ from mammals then what would be your answer. Is it the uvula?

If the presence of one little organ can create such damage them imagine how it feels when you have two little uvulas hanging at the back of your throat. Also called “Bifid uvula” or Loeys- Dietz syndrome, it looks like a tiny upside down heart dangling between the two tonsils. According to health expert Dr Jennifer Shu, this abnormality occurs in about two percent of the population.

With the application of homemade remedies you can gain access to relief but since all people have different syndrome which may require clinical consultation, we cannot always rely upon house hold natural remedies. Especially children are prone to viral infections very often catch cold and flu. There are times when honey, basil or ginger does not yield fruitful results then the best remedy for that is a good paediatrician.

References

  • http://mentalfloss.com/article/30806/what-does-dangly-thing-back-your-throat-do
  • http://wonderopolis.org/wonder/what-does-your-uvula-do
  • http://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/help-sore-throats
  • http://www.medicaldaily.com/reddit-user-shares-bifid-uvula-rare-condition-only-occurs-2-population-293674
  • http://www.rd.com/health/conditions/sore-throat-remedies-home-gargles/
  • http://uvulin.com/7-swollen-uvula-dangers
  • http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/uvula
  • http://www.drugs.com/cg/uvulitis.html