That thing hanging down your throat has a name: it's the uvula! Sometimes it can swell and cause swallowing problems, choking, the urge to vomit and even drool in the little ones. Some things can cause uvula swelling, including viral and bacterial infections, allergies, dry mouth, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or even genetic issues. If you find that you have a swollen or red uvula, there are some things you can do at home, such as gargling with lukewarm water, sucking on throat lozenges or chunks of ice, to relieve symptoms. If these do not improve or if you notice that a child's uvula is swollen, you need to see a doctor.
Method 1 of 3: Treat a swollen uvula
Step 1. Gargle with lukewarm water and food salt
Lukewarm water has a soothing power and salt can remove uvula swelling. Be careful that the water is not hot, otherwise it may burn your throat and cause more damage. Add about 1.25 to 2.5 g of food salt to 240 ml of lukewarm water and stir until the salt dissolves.
You have the option of gargling with lukewarm salt water up to three times a day. Just be careful not to swallow it, as too much salt in the body can cause other problems
Step 2. Suck on a throat lozenge
You can take any lozenge you want, but if you really feel uncomfortable or have trouble swallowing it, look for one that has numbing effects.
You can look for sugar-free throat lozenges in stores. Usually, if the product does not contain sugar, this will be mentioned on the front of its bag or box. These lozenges are a great option if you are feeling sick, but have other health concerns, such as diabetes
Step 3. Drink hot tea and stay hydrated
The warm liquid will have a soothing effect on the throat and keep you hydrated while you try to reduce the inflammation. If you add a little honey to it, it will cover the throat a bit, making it easier to swallow.
- Herbal tea is particularly ideal for curing a sore throat. Chamomile tea with a little honey will relieve some of the pain.
- You can also try a homemade cinnamon tea to soothe the throat. Prepare a mixture of 10 g of slippery elm bark, 10 g of marshmallow root, 8 g of dried cinnamon shavings, 5 g of dried orange zest and three whole cloves in 700 ml of water and let this simmer over low heat for twenty minutes Filter the herbs and add honey if desired. You should drink all the tea after 36 hours.
Step 4. Suck on chunks of ice
Ice can reduce the swelling of the uvula somewhat. In addition, the cold in the throat can make it slightly numb and make swallowing easier.
Step 5. See a doctor
A swollen uvula can have several causes. See a doctor and tell him all the symptoms you are experiencing. Your doctor may prescribe medication to calm your symptoms and treat the underlying cause.
The doctor may need to take a throat swab in order to make a full diagnosis of what caused the uvula swelling. Relax your throat as much as you can (avoid contracting it altogether) so that you can easily access it
Step 6. Take an antibiotic
Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic if the swelling of the uvula is caused by an infection. Make sure you follow the dosage exactly. You should take the antibiotic at the exact same time each day for the full recommended length of time in order to get rid of the infection completely.
Method 2 of 3: Recognize the symptoms
Step 1. See if you have difficulty swallowing
If you have trouble swallowing fluids, saliva, or food, you may have swollen uvula. Sometimes try to swallow saliva to know for sure if you are having problems and that it isn't just a bigger chunk of food or a really large drink that is causing it.
If you have dyspnea or swallowing problems, contact your doctor immediately
Step 2. See if you feel choking or the urge to vomit
If you have a swollen uvula, you may find that you are choking or wanting to vomit, even though you have nothing in your throat. Since the uvula hangs down the back of the throat, any inflammation in the throat can make you feel like you have a gag reflex.
Step 3. Check for drool
This is a very important symptom that should not be overlooked in young children, who may not be able to tell you how they are feeling. If you notice that they are drooling more than usual, they may have swollen uvula and you should see a doctor straight away.
Step 4. Take your temperature
Usually, the swelling of the uvula is caused by a bacterial infection, and usually these infections are accompanied by fever. If you have trouble swallowing and have a gag reflex or feel choking, take your temperature to see if you have a fever. Normal temperatures vary from person to person, but any temperature above 37 degrees Celsius indicates a fever.
If you have a fever, see a doctor immediately. A fever can indicate a much more serious condition. In addition, fevers (even mild) in children can be very dangerous
Step 5. See if there is any swelling or inflammation
If you think you have a swollen uvula, you should check this in front of a mirror. Stand in front of a mirror high enough to see your entire face or use a hand mirror. Open your mouth wide and look at the uvula (the teardrop-shaped piece of skin at the back of your throat). If it appears swollen or inflamed, you need to see a doctor.
Method 3 of 3: Prevent uvula swelling
Step 1. Don't take alcohol
Excessive alcohol consumption can cause swelling of the uvula. If you find that it is swollen and shrinking on its own, cut back on your alcohol intake.
If that doesn't work and the uvula is still swollen, see a doctor
Step 2. Stop smoking
Both cigarettes and their smoke are irritants, and if too much gets into your throat, they can cause the uvula to swell. If you have problems with uvula swelling, stop smoking.
Step 3. Take allergy medicine
Since the swelling of the uvula can indicate an allergic reaction, you should be sure to take any antiallergic medication that you are supposed to take. If you've never been diagnosed with an allergy, but notice that your uvula is swollen when you eat a certain food, see a doctor right away. Any food allergic reaction that causes swelling in your throat should be treated immediately, as it can affect your ability to breathe.
Step 4. Treat gastroesophageal reflux disease
If this disease contributes to the swelling of the uvula, try to control the symptoms. In addition to taking antacids when you have a problem, try to eat smaller meals and avoid foods that trigger the reaction. If you're having trouble controlling gastroesophageal reflux disease on your own, talk to a doctor so they can work out a personal treatment plan for you.