A swollen uvula has various causes that you should be familiar with. The uvula is a bell-shaped organ that suspends from the roof of the throat. The function of this organ is not yet fully understood though some believe it is an indication of the evolutionary process of humans.
The uvula has a role in speech and capable of producing saliva which is comprised of various issues including glandular and muscular. In addition, it also contributes to the sounds produced when an individual is snoring.
Indications of a swollen uvula
A swollen uvula is an uncommon condition that can trigger various symptoms due to the inflammation in and around the uvula. The puffiness of the uvula without tenderness of other tissues and adjacent structures surrounding the uvula is quite rare. The symptoms linked with a swollen uvula might include the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Gagging and drooling
- Difficulty breathing and talking
Take note that a swollen uvula might play a role in obstructive sleep apnea. Some individuals with sleep apnea might require surgery for removal of the uvula.
Causes of a swollen uvula
A throat infection might affect other tissues and eventually leads to a swollen uvula. The infections can be viral or bacterial such as tonsillitis, strep throat and epiglottitis.
When it comes to epiglottitis, it is an uncommon and dangerous condition that typically occurs in children. This is triggered by an infection that causes swelling of the epiglottis and the adjacent structures and can quickly lead to breathing issues.
An allergic reaction can trigger swelling of the throat and mouth along with a swollen uvula. Remember that this is an indication of anaphylaxis which is a medical emergency. Individuals who end up with swift swelling of the throat and mouth must be taken to the nearest emergency department to be given a shot of epinephrine. Some who previously experienced this kind of allergic reaction usually have an injectable epinephrine with them.
Injuries to the uvula can trigger swelling, but it is considered uncommon. It is possible that that uvula is burned after eating hot food and can also be damaged due to some medical procedures such as intubation.
Hereditary angioneurotic edema
Hereditary angioneurotic edema is an uncommon genetic condition triggered by mutation of a gene. This condition is characterized by attacks of swelling in various parts of the body including the uvula. In most cases, the initial attacks occur during childhood.