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Swollen Uvula

Swollen Uvula

Having a swollen uvula can be a difficult but it serves as an important factor when screening bacteria and other microorganism that is about to enter the digestive and respiratory tract. Anatomically, the uvula is located at the back of the tongue. When a person opens their mouth, there appears to be a hanging grape in the at the back of the tongue. Many people may think of this as tonsils but it’s not. It acts like a filter that screens the microorganism that enters the mouth.

The term uvula means “large grape”. This is derived from the Latin word “uvu” which means grape. Aside from filtering bacteria and other organisms, this is also an important part of the sound articulation when a person speaks. And most singers would associate their vibrato or the wavy up and down sound to the uvula. Medically, a swollen uvula is also called as uvulitis. The suffix “-itis” is usually associated with inflammation or swelling in medical terms.

Swollen Uvula Causes

Uvulitis is not a life-threatening disease and it should go away in a few days. Usually, doctors would point out that the case of a swollen uvula can be one of the many things:

  1. Dehydration
  2. Viral or bacterial infection. This is the most common cause of swollen uvula. This is an indicative that a harmful microorganism was about to enter either in the lungs of digestive tract.
  3. Excessive smoking can also be a factor as well as excessive alcohol consumption
  4. Frequent snoring
  5. Common colds and exposure to extremely hot or cold environment.
  6. Apthous ulcer or canker sores. This can also be called as the mouth sore and when the area of the sore is near the uvula, uvulitis can happen.


Swollen uvula Symptoms

There are various swollen uvula symptoms but these are usually subjective ones. The patient is the one who mostly feels the uneasiness or some pain.

  1. Having a dry mouth. Even though the affected persons drinks a lot of water, there is still a feeling or dryness in the mouth because of the inflammation
  2. Sore throat. The pain may seem similar when the person experiences tonsillitis
  3. Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing
  4. Tonsils may also be swollen
  5. Headache.
  6. Hoarseness of voice. There are voice changes since the uvula is also used for sound articulation
  7. Fever
  8. Discharges from the throat usually pus
  9. Patient will also feel like vomiting. This  is because the gag reflex is stimulated.
  10. Desire to cough even if there is no sputum or phlegm
  11. Throat irritation. The patient may feel that there are feathers in their throat. Thus, they want to scratch if off.


Swollen Uvula

Picture : Swollen uvula and sore throat

Swollen Uvula Remedies

There are effective home remedies that can be done with swollen uvula. This is not a life-threatening condition and within 24 hours it can be remedied at home.

Home remedies include:

  1. Drinking lots of water is one of the best remedies to treat uvulitis. Since the swollen uvula can be due to dehydration then it’s best to hydrate. An amount of 10-12 glasses per day will help reduce the inflammation.
  2. Turmeric can come in handy. By mixing ½ teaspoon of turmeric into a glass with water and put some ice. Wait for about 5 minutes and patients can drink it. This is also a good solution to treat common colds.
  3. Honeys are very helpful in the recovery. According to studies, consuming honey every day can be a good thing for faster uvula recovery.
  4. Chewing about 2-3 garlic cloves per day can greatly reduce the swelling of the uvula. And when the patient also has hypertension. Garlic cloves are useful to help decrease blood pressure.
  5. Adding a pinch of salt into the lukewarm water is also another typical remedy for sore throat.
  6. Doctors would also suggest trying a tea made with basil leaves.
  7. Ice creams and cold water can also be taken but the patient should not have colds when taking these.


Swollen Uvula Treatment

Although a swollen uvula can be treated at home, there are instances wherein the need for seeking professional help should be done. Especially in severe swelling and the condition lasts for more than 24-48 hours, the patient should see a doctor. But it is not just a general practitioner that they should see. They should make an appointment with Otolaryngology specialists. These are doctors who treats ears, nose and throat problems. They would typically be given treatments like throat sprays and pain killers. Sometimes, antibiotics would also be prescribed when there is infection.

But in cases of recurrent and frequent swollen uvula, the physicians will require Adrenalin shots. The patient will have to inject themselves whenever uvulitis happens. A medical device called the EpiPen is usually prescribed.


  1. Did not know that dehydration could cause the uvula to become inflamed(swollen). Hydrating ourselves with plenty of water is a common cure for this. I would recommend drinking plenty of electrolytes liquid.

    Thank you for the information that has helped ‘plentifully’.

  2. I met someone whom had this similar problem. His Uvula had swollen an covered the entrance to throat. Thank you for the informative page… Alcohol ingestion played a major role in this(I believe). : )

  3. What would alcohol have to do with it? Dehydration? What if I was drinking massive amounts of water all day prior to drinking at night?

  4. I woke up Friday morning with a swollen Uvula. I had drank quite a bit the previous night. My gf said I was snoring like never before. It is now Tuesday and the swelling has gone down considerably but I find it still to be a little uncomfortable.

    Anyone else had this last as long as mine has?

  5. Had this a couple of times before but that was due to excessive imbibing and it went by itself after a few glasses of water and a day’s repentance for my foolishness. This time I was innocent of such excessive pleasures and was in a right mess, almost unable to swallow and then when i did it was accompanied with searing pain. Tried a Pharmacy spray which only made it worse but a combination of green tea laced with honey and lemon, salt water and turmeric gargling and licking honey – turmeric mixture seems to have done the job. Thanks to Mr Doctor! Much appreciated.

  6. Thanks a lot! I woke up and panicked a little! Then I relaxed and now I’m hydrating myself. Of course if the condition worsens I’ll head over to the hospital, but I think I’ll be alright now :] I appreciate it!

  7. I get this from time to time. When it first happened to me, I went to the doctor and she told me it was from a mold allergy. It was fall then and apparently the leaves on the ground start to mold and the spores go crazy.

    I have uvulitis right now. Last night I slept on the couch and can assume that since my neck was bent I was snoring last night. Also the mold count is pretty high here, so I still don’t know what is the exact cause. Cold liquid and keeping it lubricated seem to help to reduce the swelling and irritation. When I first wake up, when I breathe out it goes up and lays on the back of my tounge. It slowly goes down, but is very very annoying and a little sore.

  8. Yesterday I found out I had Uvulitis, Tonsillitis, Strep, and a Infection. The Uvulitis is swollen and driving me crazy. I hate the feeling because it feels like I am always swallowing the Uvula every time I swallow. Dr gave me Amoxicillin 875 mg, but I am horribly impatient when it comes to waiting for things to work. Is there a way to shrink this Uvula back down to size, and how long does it take to return to normal size? I never had this before and I don’t like it or the wicked sensation of swallowing your throat.

  9. Thank you for the great information and for providing it simply and easy to understand. I have had this happen a couple of times. Pretty much from smoking excessively when I normally don’t smoke.

  10. Thank allot…i have an unset stomach, and i vomited so much i think the force of regurgitation cause my uvula to become swollen, making me gag. I been drinking ice cold water and its helping allot…thanks very helpful.

  11. pls my name is Michael.i hav this same issue but mine is bad bcos i cant sleep.i feel like am choking and i grasp for air.
    Most times i feel like i hav vomit in my throat,like a big stone is blocking my throat.
    An ENT Dr just checked my throat and ears yesterday and she said my uvula is swellen and i should do an X-ray..before now i hav taken drugs for more than a month now….
    pls what can i do….it really discomfortening

  12. Thank you so much for this very interesting information. I would ask you if surgery will help to eliminated this problem. my son already have this kind of surgery. I hope you can reply me. thank you .

  13. Yep. Right there with your friend, Jamie. I thought this might just be what happened as I turned 40. Thankfully I think it’s more connected with the 16 drinks that accompanied my turning 40… Trying the water thing now…

  14. Thnks I believe hydrating myself will be the cure seems like it already working I’m on my 3rd 16oz water bottle..

  15. I have had this for four days and it’s just getting worse, i have been using all the home remedies (except the garlic one as I’m allergic to garlic) I am now rather scared and unsure of what to do

  16. thank you for this info helped out alot just saved a trip to ER

  17. Just had surgery and while the op has gone very well (so far, touch wood) the swollen uvula is driving me badly, so this info is helpful and useful. And comforting, was getting very worried about it.

  18. I woke up feeling like I was choking and found out I had a swollen Uvula. I was about to panic until I read this. It’s like each time I swallow, I’m trying to swallow my Uvula. I’m going to try the water and I am NOT laying down. That just makes me feel like I’m going to suffocate.

  19. It’s been going on for two days my entire body is aching and getting headaches I don’t know what to do

  20. Yesterday i was fine and today i woke up with swollen uvula. It is very irritation. I went to the hospital and they said there is nothing to worry just gurgle with salty lukewarm water and i did it i think its has helped me . its not normal but now its im feeling quit normal. BUT thanks to your detail description.

  21. I was told that i snore when i sleep with my mouth open and i woke up this morning felt like there was something in the back of my throat i was gagging on my uvula and my mouth was very dry. I freaked out and ran and got a drink of water. Than i went in the mirror and opened my mouth to see har enlarged and long my uvula is. It’s very uncomfortable more than painful. I’m glad to know about the information given here with different remedies on how to help. I thinking drinking lots of water will help on my 4th bottle and still drinking. Information from all your comments have helped. Thanks

  22. Dr.BhushanWaghe

    Thanks for the pinpointed information.It instantly enlightened the
    Forgotten summary.

  23. Thank you mrdoctor.org! This is very clear explanation to understand about uvula.

  24. First i want to appreciate all your efforts to help people suffering from this infection repeatedly like me. i mistakenly over state it in my previous time since i considered it like epiglottis infection. i got many relief now psychologically. today i got doctor, i browse, and come across with this helpful information. i will try those in house treatment methods.

  25. First i want to appriciate all your efforts to help people suffering from this infection repeatdly like me. i mistakenly over state it in my previous time since i considered it like epiglottis infection. i got many relief now pschologically. today i got doctor i browse and come across with this helpful information. i will be tried those in house treatment methods.

  26. Thank you for this information

  27. My uvula is swollen really bad! Its keeping me up at night! It is extremly hard to swallow, even water let alone food! Ive ben drinking water steady for two days and it seems to be getting worse! This is ridiculous! How long does it usually take until i feel like eating! Until i feel normal again?

  28. I’ve just come out of hospital as mine has swollen that much it left about 1mm each side of my throat, I was given antibiotics and steroids through a drip. I was told that that’s the only was of getting the swelling down, I’ve tried every thing else and nothing worked. I’ve had the issue 3 times in 2 months now and each time ended up in hospital each time. It’s becoming increasingly frustrating and they seem very reluctant to start and surgery on it.

    I couldn’t drink water of eat anything cold as I physically couldn’t swollow anything at all

  29. I’m another victim of uvulitis, got it after having a wild night of drinking and singing… Like if the han***er wasn’t enough…. Taking the cold water + ibuprofen for the headache.. and since ibuprofem is an anti-inflammatory, would it help relieve the uvula swelling?
    Thank you

  30. I had shoulder surgery 5 days ago. Post op, I felt that I couldnt swallow. I am a nurse and decided it was probably due to swelling from and endotrachial tube. It seemed to go away but is now back. I looked in the mirror and saw an enlarged uvula. Hate to run to the ER.
    I am able to breath. It could be a result of entubation, allergic reaction to meds I received, a throat infection (no fever) or angioedema from lysinoprel. Seems like I have 4 probable causes. Should I wait it out?

  31. First time having this and it scared me sooo bad.. Thanks for the great info.. Hopefully it goes down….

  32. I have a swollen uvula about everyday. Benadryl helps the swelling some. There has got to be a better remedy somewhere. This gives me lots of sleepless nites

  33. Plz help im getting worried i dont know what happend after coming back from shopping with my family i got a swollen uvula then after 4 hours it went away but now its back!

  34. Alcohol does play a major role in this, especially after alot of vomitting occurs and the throat area becomes dehydrated

  35. i have this for the past 2 days and today i looked it up and found this to be helpful, so far the water is helping alot ive already drank 2 16oz water bottles and it feels better, i can swallow easier now and it dosent hurt as bad

  36. Stress can contribute to this greatly as it lowers your immunity. Mix a 1/4 tsp organic turmeric with 1 tsp of (really) raw honey. Put the mixture in a teaspoon and place in your mouth. As the mixture disolves swallow. Try to get it directly on the affected area. Then if you are under stress drink some Kava Root tea for the stress and Chamomile Lavender will help to fight infection. Don’t eat any junk food including excess sugar until this is gone.

  37. I’m 21, i have this same illness, i can’t say what mine is but it’s not uvulitis(i think). Mine is not swollen, its just unusually long with a dark yellowish colour at the tip and sits right on my tongue that it makes me wanna cut it to size..i find it difficult to swallow yet i feel like to swallow every second. Each time i try to swallow it feels like i’m gonna swallow my uvula but then it stay right back. this is so annoying. Firstly i began thinking of crazy stuffs like thoraxic cancer and worse. And then it seemed like a new ill is gonna be found in me…lol. I now feel less scared all thanks to such forum as this. I’m Nigerian

  38. I’m 28, I think my case is same as charlene’s i’ve had this ill for some days. This is the 4th day. I tried the salt medication once and there seems to be no improvement. Its really annoying. I’m hoping it would go on its own. I live in canada

  39. I had a strep throat last week. It lasted for about 8 days. I finished the anti-biotic course. well, the swelling in my tonsils went down, but now I noticed that my uvula is swollen. not only that, but there’s a round white dot on it. I can’t eat or drink as I normally do and it’s been for quite some time now about 2 weeks now. Should I start another course of anti-biotic? or just rely on home remedies? and from your experience how long before any of those remedies starts to work? thank you

  40. Doesn’t seem to get better but only gets more swollen making it terrible painful to swallow
    Dr rxd zpac but more important steroids — it’s been about 12 hours now and the swelling seems to be going down. At least I can talk a little now.

    Hm remedies for me did not seem to wk.

  41. glock2550@gmail

    This problem is horrible with panic disorder! Thinking surgery, it’s a problem all of the time somebody email me on this. Sincerely the lonely guy. And I hope everyone’s uv goes away!

  42. I just had my tonsilectomy done some few months back and my uvula has been swollen since then. All these information is quite helpful for me since am considering surgery.i feel this irritation/choking/vomiting sensation almost everyday. Pls can somebody tell me the function of this organ in the body and how it could affect my musical career if I remove it eventually.thanks

  43. I woke up today with a swollen uvula. This is 4 days post shoulder surgery. I had a nerve block which lasted until 2am last night. I had antibiotics via IV during and after surgery. I’ve been drinking fluids, more than normal. Swelling seems to be abating but I am definitely snoring more. Will try sleeping in the recliner tonight and talk with my internist in the morning. Not sure what is the cause and what is the effect.

  44. Is it normal to hack up stuff besides having this thing?

  45. I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Congested from a severe cold. I woke up with a swollen uvula. Made sense.

  46. I wanted to add something my teacher had me gargle edan plum vinaiger with water often through out the day it realy helped next day I felt fine

  47. my daughter is 15 she has had a tonsillectomy, she has been put an antibiotics for uvulitis, is this contagious?

  48. re above message…. she is feeling verry poorly and bad heads and suggested by the doctor to rest? does this mean no school?

  49. thanks for the advice

    I became very panic but now I calm down

  50. I had a lot of throat/uvula/tonsil inflammation problems as a kid, the doctors never removed anything as they said it was preventing worse infections. It’s been years, but now my uvula is swollen again, it feels like I’m swallowing fiery needles when taking just a sip of water. Trying some of the recommendations above, hopefully I can avoid a hospital visit as I’m currently living in China and the healthcare here is… less than desirable

  51. Sitting in front of computer drinking cold water now. Saw doctor today, was told my uvula was a 3 which is considered to be large. I have found that gargling with peroxide and warm salted water helps me. I am also a COPD, patient who uses a CPAC set-up at night. Will try the turmeric. Thanks

  52. I get this every few months or there abouts. I’ve had good results drinking orange juice. Maybe the tartness of the citrus causes the uvula to contract some. Keeping your head tilted slightly back may lift the uvula a bit off of your tongue and slightly ease that “laying on the tongue” feeling. If you feel snoring is causing your condition try sleeping on your side or on your stomach. Relax, this happens to a lot of people, you are not alone.

  53. my fiance gutted a bathroom full of black mold now he wakes up today with his uvula swollen could the breathing the mold caused this

  54. Thanks! I didnt know what was happening. This was very helpful, now I can try these remedies. One of these are bound to work.

  55. How long does this last? Woke up like this and I’m honestly freaking out

  56. Mine flares up now and again but it’s always over night and usually goes by mid afternoon, it’s like a blister on the end that is clear, I’ve been in hospital twice as it swelled so much, I don’t think it’s viral though as it goes down in a day, wish I knew what causes it

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