ZocdocAnswersMy tongue is swollen and hurts. How do i help the pain?

Question

My tongue is swollen and hurts. How do i help the pain?

I'm 21 and i just got over a sinus affection and now my tongue is swollen at the back making it very painful to swallow and talk. I've been gargling salt water and peroxide and taking aleve for the pain.

Answer

So sorry to hear that you have had to overcome first a sinus infection, and now this, something that could be much more serious. As it is possible that this swelling could become very serious (even if it is also possible that is could be just a sore throat), you need to speak to your doctor immediately. The major concern is that you might have an infection or abscess of your epiglottis, your tonsils, or another part of your throat that could potentially block off your airway. Obviously, this would be an emergency, and so you need to speak to your physician or go to an emergency room/urgent care immediately. While salt water, peroxide, and aleve are excellent steps to take with a simple sore throat, a simple sore throat should not leave your tongue feeling swollen. As the area around the back of your tongue is a confined space, any swelling that occurs in that region will restrict the amount of air that can pass through. Some infections will form along the floor of your mouth, and the associated swelling can push your tongue up and into your airway. Others make it difficult for you to swallow your secretions, and they tend to pool and prevent a risk to your airway as well. Please speak to your doctor or see a physician in some way immediately until you know that your specific condition is not something more serious.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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