and what do they mean?
Surprisingly, the biggest hurdle to treating uvulitis is identifying it in the first place. Unfortunately, most people often miss the early signs of uvulitis only to realize that something is wrong after extensive damage has already occurred. The fact is uvulitis symptoms are not always obvious and tissue damage can even occur silently. Even worse, when the symptoms are noticeably felt, they are usually brushed off by the sufferer as nothing more than a typical throat infection and the problem is left to resolve on its own.
We now know that ignoring these symptoms is one of the worst things you can do during uvulitis. By allowing the condition to take its natural course, you are in-fact increasing your chances of permanently damaging your uvula.
Here are a few telltale signs of uvulitis that can help you recognize it early and treat it quickly:
- A reddened or swollen uvula
- Soreness of the uvula and its surrounding tissue (similar to a sore throat)
- Blistering or ulceration of the uvula (typically noticed by doctors or dentists)
- White patches on the uvula (fungal cause)
- A uvula that hangs too low (elongated uvula)
- Sensing the uvula when you swallow (enlarged uvula)
- Pain during swallowing
- Sensation of choking or gagging
If you have any of these symptoms, it means that your uvula is actively trying to fend off a biological or physical threat using inflammation as its defense mechanism. This threat can come from any one of 8 different things that commonly trigger the immune system to launch its attack on your uvula.
Ironically it is our own immune system’s process of clearing
the threat that causes the most injury to our uvula
This creates a tricky situation where on the one hand you want your body to quickly overcome the threat but on the other you don’t want the healing process to injure the uvula either.
That’s why you need to intervene in your body’s healing process by doing three crucial things:
- You have to quickly lower any existing inflammation and limit any injury to your uvula
- You have to neutralize the underlying trigger that is causing the inflammation in the first place
- You have to provide your uvula with the necessary compounds that promote recovery, prevent scarring and return the uvula back to its healthy state
Most importantly, never disregard your symptoms or treat them lightly because when it comes to uvulitis – timing is everything. The earlier you take action the lesser the damage and the more comprehensive your healing.
Finally, it is also crucial to know that even though the symptoms mentioned above can often be a great way to become aware of the problem, they can also be misleading in some ways…
Never take mild symptoms to mean that your uvula is not experiencing damage – Even small amounts of inflammation can cause serious uvula damage due to its sensitive nature and its tendency to easily scar.
Don’t take the complete lack of symptoms to mean that your uvula is safe or that you shouldn’t take action – Your uvula can experience damage even in the complete absence of symptoms (for ex. slowly enlarging over time due to a weakening muscle tone or carcinoma of the uvula). Always pay close attention to even small changes in your uvula (size, shape, color) and act quickly to protect the uvula even if these changes don’t cause any pain or irritation.
Even if your symptoms start improving on their own, take action to promote your recovery to ensure your uvula heals completely – Just because your symptoms are easing doesn’t mean your uvula tissue is healing properly. Remember, scar fibers are also a result of our body’s natural healing process. After the pain and swelling are gone, your uvula may be left with permanent damage that may cause health issues years later. This is a crucial time to provide your uvula with the additional support it needs to guide the healing process in the right direction and to fully recover its function.
In short, don’t just rely on the symptoms to assess how bad the situation really is. A perfect example of this is uvula cancer, which typically only exhibits symptoms in the advanced stages. It is always a good idea to take a proactive approach and protect the uvula.
Think about it… We brush and floss everyday because we know how sensitive our gum tissue really is and how damaging gum disease can be. Most importantly we regularly care for our gums because we know what kind of harmful substances they encounter on a daily basis. Yet, we completely ignore an even more sensitive piece of tissue mere inches away simply because it is out of our sight. It shouldn’t take a serious abnormality for us to pay attention to our uvula and ensure that it remains disease-free.