The Uvula

THE UVULA

Many people don’t know what that little “thing-a-ma-jig” that hangs in the back of their throat is called. It is called the Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½uvula’. The uvula is made of muscle and connective tissue and is covered with the same mucous membrane that lines the inside of your cheeks and the roof of your mouth. No one seems to know the purpose of the uvula. It is common for a person to suffer from a swollen uvula, at one time or another, which can be caused by many things. The usual suspects include:

tonsillitis
bacterial or viral infections of the throat
allergies
trauma

It’s possible, but rare, to have swelling without any of these other problems.

Those doctors who say it is an allergic reaction believe it is possibly from something you ate, like a very spicy, hot sauce. Some doctors say it could possibly be a bug bite I.e. a bug went into your mouth, while you were asleep. Others say that “usually”, a swollen uvula is just a sign that your throat is dry. The drying happens more when you sleep and breathe thru your mouth. Sleeping with an open mouth leads to a very dry mouth. Many doctors say it could be from mild dehydration. Dehydration from eating food high in salt and then sleeping on your back. Drinking heavily can cause it, also. Many say snoring at night can cause it, which will also cause a dry mouth I.e. dehydration.

TREATMENT:

Whatever the reason you suspect to be causing your uvula to swell is, here are some common, simple treatments:

1. Take some Advil (ibuprofen) or Tylenol(Advil is better) for the inflammation and gargle warm salt water. Throat spray with a local anesthetic helps too. Cough drops are good, too. Especially the honey/lemon/eucalyptus ones.
2. If you think it’s an allergic reaction, Benedryl will help.
3. To prevent it , sleep on your side, elevated.
4. Stay hydrated and breath thru your mouth.
5. Avoid eating “HIGH” FAT and high CARBO diet foods(especially FRIED meat/poultry, pasta/rice/potato). Eat more fruits or veggies (smoothies are good, but avoid cream – use yogurt instead).
6. Avoid coughing (because coughing will irritate it more).
7. Drink plenty of WATER (room temperature),

You’ll get better in no time. It is VERY VERY common. It won’t kill you.
If it has been swollen for a long period of time or it is accompanied by other symptoms (such as fever or pain), and/or if you are having problems with swallowing, talking, or breathing, it is best to get it checked by your health care provider.

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