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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 5, 2023.

What is uvulitis?

Uvulitis is severe swelling of your uvula. The uvula is the small piece of tissue that hangs in the back of your throat. Uvulitis is usually caused by an infection, an injury to the back of the throat, or an allergic reaction.

Mouth Anatomy

What are the signs and symptoms of uvulitis?

  • Red, swollen uvula
  • Fever and sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Choking or gagging
  • Drooling

How is uvulitis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your uvula and throat. You may need any of the following tests:

  • Blood tests give healthcare providers information about how your body is working.
  • Throat or uvula culture: This test helps healthcare providers learn which type of germ is causing your uvulitis. A cotton swab is rubbed against your uvula or your throat. The swab is sent to a lab to be tested.
  • Neck x-ray: You may need an x-ray of your neck if you have trouble swallowing, or you choke or gag.

How is uvulitis treated?

The following medicines may help decrease the signs and symptoms of uvulitis:

  • Antibiotics: You may need antibiotics if an infection caused your uvulitis. This medicine will help kill the germs that caused the infection. Take your antibiotics until they are gone, even if you feel better.
  • Steroids: You may need steroid medicine if an allergic reaction caused your uvulitis. This medicine helps decrease redness, pain, and swelling.
  • Antihistamines: You may need antihistamines if an allergic reaction caused your uvulitis. This medicine helps decrease itching.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

  • Your signs and symptoms do not get better, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or treatment.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have worse trouble swallowing.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Learn more about Uvulitis

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.