What Is Uvulitis?
Do you sometimes feel like there`s something stuck at the back of your throat?
You probably thought it was a strep throat, and tried to treat it, but it didn`t heal and you got bothered?
Have you looked in the mirror and seen that your uvula is inflamed and swollen?
Why do you have uvulitis — an inflamed and swollen uvula? Let`s get talking!
Just before we go further, let`s make clear what the uvula is.
What is Uvula?
Do you notice that the roof of the mouth is divided into two parts? These are the hard palate and the soft palate. The hard palate is the part right above the tongue, while the soft palate is behind the hard palate — it is the beginning of the throat. The fleshy part that hangs down the soft palate is the uvula — it is made of connective and muscle tissues, together with mucous membranes that make it flexible. The soft palate helps to close your nasal passages as you swallow food, while the uvula pushes food down the throat. The uvula is made of connective and muscle tissues along with mucous membranes that make it flexible.
So what causes this inflammation of the uvula?
Causes of Uvulitis
Certain microbial infections such as respiratory tract infections, mononucleosis or strep throat can cause uvulitis.
Some allergies caused by food or insect bites cause the buildup of fluid in the mouth and/or throat, hence causing a swelling of the uvula.
Trauma to the uvula, caused by medical conditions or surgical procedures may cause uvulitis. Common surgeries that may cause uvulitis are intubation and tonsillectomy.
Genetic factors such as congenital disorders may cause a cleft lip or palate, hence causing the uvula to become enlarged, wrongly positioned, or absent.
People with a common cold are also at risk of uvulitis because their nasal passages are blocked, hence they breathe through their mouths, and this increases their chances of an inflamed uvula.
Some Other Causes of Uvulitis Are:
- acid reflux
- dry mouth
- excessive alcohol intake
- inhaling toxic air
- injury to the throat or uvula
- a weak immune system
Symptoms of Uvulitis
- an itch or burning sensation in the throat
- a sore throat
- a feeling of something stuck in your throat
- difficulty swallowing
- swelling of the tonsils
- excess secretion of saliva
- difficulty breathing
Of course, any of the above symptoms may be symptoms of some other health conditions, so consulting a doctor immediately you notice any of them is the best you can do for yourself.
How to Diagnose Uvulitis
Uvulitis is usually caused by an underlying infection or condition. To diagnose uvulitis, your doctor will ask about your symptoms, the medications you are on, your medical history, allergies you have, your experience with tobacco, and some other questions.
To diagnose uvulitis, your doctor may swab your throat or nostrils to test for infections.
A blood test may be necessary to rule out the possibility of the patient being affected by other infections.
Natural Remedies to Manage Uvulitis
- a teaspoon of turmeric powder
- a glass of hot milk
- Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of hot milk.
- Mix properly and allow it to cool.
- Drink the mixture.
Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound which possesses antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties hence it combats upper respiratory microbial infections. Its anti-inflammatory property particularly reduces the swelling of the uvula. You may drink this mixture once daily.
Hot Tea and Honey
- a teaspoon of any tea powder
- a cup of water
- some honey
- Add a teaspoon of any tea powder of your choice to a cup of water.
- Boil it in a saucepan.
- Simmer for a minute or two and strain.
- Add some honey to it.
- Drink it warm.
This treatment reduces the swelling of the uvula. You may drink the tea twice or thrice a day.
- A few ice chips made of distilled water
Suck on a few ice chips once or twice daily to soothe a sore throat and reduce the inflammation of the uvula.
- thyme or cinnamon essential oil
- a diffuser
- some water
- Add a drop of thyme or cinnamon essential oil to a diffuser filled with water.
- Turn on the diffuser and inhale the aroma.
These essential oils, due to their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory nature, alleviate symptoms of throat infections. You may do this essential oil treatment once daily until you feel better.
- 1-2 clove(s) of peeled garlic
- Chew on one to two peeled garlic clove(s).
- You may add minced garlic to your salad and dishes if you can`t stand the flavor eating it on its own.
Garlic`s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties combat the infection-causing microbes that cause uvulitis. You may do this treatment once daily for best results.
Holy Basil Leaves
- a handful of holy basil leaves
- a cup of water
- Boil the water in a saucepan.
- Add a handful of holy basil leaves to it and simmer for about five minutes.
- Strain and allow the tea to cool a bit.
- Drink the tea.
Holy basil possesses some powerful antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that combat infections, hence alleviating the symptoms of uvulitis. Doing this natural remedy once or twice a day is quite effective.
Gargle with Warm Salt Water
- a teaspoon of table salt
- a glass of hot water
- Add a teaspoon of table salt to a glass of hot water.
- Mix properly until the salt dissolves.
- Gargle with the salt water for a few seconds while it`s warm.
- Spit it out.
- Repeat the process until you use up everything.
This gargling washes the throat and prevents upper respiratory infections. It also treats an infection-caused swollen uvula. You may do this twice or thrice daily.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- a cup of warm water
- some honey
- Add a tablespoon each of organic apple cider vinegar and honey to a cup of warm water.
- Stir well.
- You may drink the mixture or use it for gargling.
Apple cider vinegar possesses anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which not only combat microbial infections but also reduces the inflammation and swelling of the uvula. You may drink this mixture once daily.
How to Prevent Uvulitis
- Be hydrated at all times.
- Drink some warm tea regularly.
- Drink little or no alcohol if possible.
- Don`t smoke.
- Always get enough rest.
- Identify foods that give you allergies and avoid them.
Did You Know?
- The scientific name for the uvula is Palatine uvula.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is the process of removing the uvula, usually to treat patients with sleep apnea.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is also used to reduce snoring.
- The uvula is part of the digestive system, and it helps close up the back area of the throat while swallowing.
- The uvula works with the epiglottis to ensure that food goes where it is supposed to, and not up into your nose or down into the lungs.
Now That You Know…
Uvulitis can be quite disturbing, hence the need to prevent it, or treat it early if you already experience its symptoms. However, be sure that what you have is uvulitis; and you can only be sure by visiting a doctor.