Swollen Uvula: Should You Be Worried?
The uvula is a soft flesh that is located at the end of the tongue. This fleshy part of the mouth helps to push food down the throat. It is a very soft flesh like structure that is part of the soft palate of the tongue. The Uvula is a critical structure and plays a very crucial role as it would be tough to swallow food in its absence. However, almost over 70% of the world’s total population suffers from swollen Uvula at some point in their life. This is a very common problem and is mostly nothing serious; rarely fatal. This condition is temporary and is most likely to recover with the passage of time.
What happens when Uvula swells?
Swollen Uvula is though not permanent neither incurable, it can seriously mess with the eating and breathing process of a person. Swollen Uvula touching tongue restricts the two basic functions that are required for any human to survive; eat and breathe. Inflammation and swelling on the uvula will make it difficult for a person to swallow food. In severe cases, a person might also find it difficult to drink water or breathe. Even the slightest action will result in pain in the throat or at back of the tongue. In extreme cases when the swelling restricts breathing, this condition can also be fatal. This, however, is rare.
How long does a swollen uvula last?
It heavily depends on the severity of the condition for how long it will take for a uvula that is swollen and engorged to heal. On an average, the condition can last from a few hours to days and in extreme cases weeks. However, it is not incurable and will be treated eventually. It is strongly advisable to seek immediate medical help as soon as you experience any swelling at the back of your tongue in the fleshy part. It also depends on the treatment you receive for how long it will take for it to heal. With immediate medical help, this condition can cure within few hours. If left unaided, the condition can worsen, and a slight infection can end up being fatal.
Causes of Swollen Uvula
Several factors can result in elongated Uvula. You complain that I had swollen uvula when I woke up, then you might also think that sleeping is a common cause of it. However, many valid and genuine factors cause the uvula inflammation and swelling,
One of the most common causes of the swollen uvula is the infection. The bacterial and viral infection will result in the uvula structure to swell up. Infections like a common cold, flu, chicken pox, measles, and croup can cause the uvula inflammation. Infection is the cause of every 1 out of 3 swollen uvula cases.
If you study swollen uvula WebMD, you will find out that many medical conditions also result in this swelling condition. Trauma post surgeries of the mouth or neck area can lead to this swelling. Patients most commonly complain of swelling of uvula post a tonsils removal surgery. However, this type of swelling cures at the fastest pace naturally.
Genetics might also play a crucial role in causing the uvula to swell. This is not a very common causal factor of uvula swelling. Every 1 in 10,000 person might experience it due to genetics. A genetic condition called hereditary angioedema is responsible for causing it. This genetic disease not only causes the uvula to swell up but might cause inflammation in other parts of the body as well such as the neck, face, arms, and chest. While many people believe that swollen uvula STD is also a common cause, there is no truth in this fact.
- Environmental factors
Lifestyle and environmental factors can be another reason for it. Many factors of the environment cause allergic reactions in the form of swelling. Use of particular medication, dust, pollen and frequent exposure to pollutants and chemicals can result in uvula swelling.
- Food allergies
Several foods cause the uvula to swell as well. Food items like peanuts, soy, tree nuts, eggs, fish, and wheat can result in allergic reaction. Many people also complain of swollen uvula after drinking milk. This might be the case for people who are allergic to dairy products.
Symptoms of Uvula swelling
Several signs will make it clear that you are suffering from this condition and need immediate medical help. It is wise always to be aware what symptoms to look out for so that you can ask for the help you might need.
- Itching: The first thing that you might experience in the throat most initially is itching. It will be very slight at first, but the intensity will begin to increase with time.
- A sore throat: Another common symptom is a sore throat in which you will find it difficult to talk, might lose your voice and will experience coughing as well. However, this symptom might go unnoticed as sore throats are very common among all age groups. Therefore, people might overlook this symptom thinking it is just a common cold or flu.
- Snoring: If you are not a snorer and suddenly begin to sleep at night, this is something alarming. Many people report that they have swollen Uvula from snoring or right after they wake up from a very long nap. Snoring is not a cause but in fact a symptom.
- Hard to swallow: Another common symptom and the most obvious one is the difficulty that might occur while eating food. This is the most prominent symptom because this is an essential function of the uvula; to facilitate and push food down the throat. Hence, if you end to find it difficult to swallow food or pass it down your throat, you should recognize this symptom immediately.