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Uvulitis: Care Instructions

Your Care Instructions

Uvulitis (say "yoo-vyoo-LY-tus") is an inflammation of the uvula (say "YOO-vyuh-luh"). This is the small piece of finger-shaped tissue that hangs down in the back of the throat.

Uvulitis is most often caused by an infection. It can also be a reaction to an allergy or injury. Often the cause is not known.

Your uvula may be red and swollen. You may feel like something is stuck at the back of your throat. Sometimes you may have a hard time swallowing. You may have a sore throat or a fever.

Home treatment for a sore throat may be all that is needed to relieve uvulitis. If it is caused by an infection, your doctor may give you an antibiotic. Your doctor may prescribe an antihistamine or a steroid medicine if uvulitis is caused by an allergy. It may also go away without treatment.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Be safe with medicines. Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor or nurse advice line if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • Gargle with warm salt water once an hour to help reduce swelling and relieve pain. Use 1 teaspoon of salt mixed in 1 cup of warm water.
  • Try an over-the-counter throat spray to relieve throat pain.
  • Ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve). Read and follow all instructions on the label.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. Fluids may help soothe your throat. If you have kidney, heart, or liver disease and have to limit fluids, talk with your doctor before you increase the amount of fluids you drink.
  • Do not smoke or allow others to smoke around you. Smoking can make your throat problem worse. If you need help quitting, talk to your doctor about stop-smoking programs and medicines. These can increase your chances of quitting for good.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.
  • You have new pain, or your pain gets worse.
  • You have new or worse trouble swallowing.
  • You seem to be getting sicker.
  • You have shortness of breath.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.