Excess alcohol consumption may cause dehydration, which can lead to swelling of the uvula. Here is a brief overview about such swelling.
The uvula, which is often mistaken as the tonsil, may get inflamed due to various reasons. Such inflammation may cause severe pain and discomfort; and the affected person may experience a choking or gagging sensation in the throat, depending upon the size of the swollen uvula. It has been observed that, the uvula can get enlarged up to five times its normal size.
The causes for such swelling include common cold, allergies, infection caused by virus or bacteria, acid reflux, and inflammation of neighboring parts, like tonsils. Excessive smoking, alcohol consumption and snoring may also contribute to uvula swelling. One of the common causes cited for this condition is dehydration, which could be due to reduced intake of water, or excess alcohol consumption and smoking.
Alcohol Consumption and Swollen Uvula
Those who indulge in excess alcohol consumption may sometimes develop swelling of the uvula. Some people are allergic to alcohol and develop such swelling, as an allergic reaction. However, in most cases, swelling of uvula occurs as a result of dehydration caused by the alcohol. It is a well-known fact, that alcohol causes dehydration; because it is a diuretic, which increases urination and flushes water from the body.
Alcohol contains toxins and it takes more water, for the body to flush out these toxins. It also dries up the tissues by removing the bodily fluid. Above all, alcohol dehydrates the mucous membranes, and this results in strep throat that causes difficulty in respiration. Thus, alcohol consumption leads to dehydration, and this in turn, causes swollen uvula after drinking. This is the reason why swollen uvula is common in alcoholics.
Swollen uvula is not a life-threatening condition and can be cured with some simple home remedies. Given below are some remedies for relieving the swelling and discomfort caused by an inflamed uvula.
- As the condition is caused by alcoholism and resultant dehydration, the first thing you have to do is to drink lots of fluids to rehydrate your body.
- Consume ice cream or cold water to soothe your throat, provided you are not affected with common cold.
- Avoid foods high in fats and carbohydrates. It is also advisable to have more fruits and vegetables.
- You may also go for some home remedies, like honey, and tea with ginger or basil leaves.
- Another home remedy is gargling, especially with lukewarm saltwater or water with turmeric.
- You may also resort to over-the-counter medicines, like throat sprays or pain killers.
- Use lozenges or sweets, to prevent drying of the throat.
If the condition does not subside with home remedies, even after a day or two, you must consult your health care provider. Those who are allergic to alcohol, must seek medical attention, if they develop allergic reactions, like swollen uvula. If the condition is very severe or persistent, you must approach an ENT specialist at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your physician is the safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.