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Uvula is swollen due to laryngitis. Should I take rapid strep test?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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I seem to have tonsilitis which began with laryngitis two days before I got a positive test on an OPK (Clear Blue digital ovulation predictor). I am now in the first week of the two week wait. My uvula is swollen to the point where it's going at a 45 degree angle, and the opening of my nasal cavity right behind the uvula is very swollen to the point where it's hard to suction down the post nasal drop that's happening. I am starting my 6th day of being sick and it's not getting better. my question is should I take a quick strep test to see if it's strep A caused (vs viral) and if I take antibiotics, which is safest for trying to conceive? Or is it safer to not treat with antibiotics, but then will that decrease my chances for conception? Day 1 Thu: slight sensitivity at back of nasal passage, a bit of sensitivity in lungs with cough, raspy voice at late morning, turned to whisper by evening. No other symptoms (no stuffy congestion or runny nose, head ache, other typical cold symptoms, etc.) Day 2 Fri: Still whispering, very hoarse. No other obvious symptoms during day. Still functioning normally otherwise. By night, coughing more frequent, post nasal drip, slight congestion in nose but still able to breathe clearly through both nostrils. Day 3 Sat: Regained some voice after warm lemon water/mint/sea salt/aspirin gargle and more rest. Regained voice got aggravated by my 3 hr bday brunch party, so back to whisper/sighing voice. More coughing especially at night, sensitive lungs and reflex coughing because air feels too cold (I live in Hong Kong so coldest it is here now is 70 degrees at night). Some phlegm after coughing sometimes, but chunky, not runny. Day 4 Sun: Slightly more irritation at back of throat during the day, slightly more post nasal drip, no obvious cold congestion or runny nose. More coughing though. By middle of night, uvula and opening of nasal passage behind it so swollen and sore that it woke me up, swallowing very difficult because of pain there (not so much in throat). If any phlegm, still chunky. Day 5 Mon: By morning so bad that I couldn't suction down post nasal drip to spit it out and when I tried could feel whole structure there so swollen I could feel it at the back of my tongue. Spent this whole day in bed, functioning very affected. Was able to function enough to do computer work by late afternoon, but lots of coughing still. Not much congestion or runny nose but the most so far. If any phlegm, still chunky, but also some more typically soft and globular. Not super runny. Day 5 Tue: Still stayed home but was out of bed at least. Back of throat still affected though slightly better. Still coughing. More congestion and post nasal drip. Finally got a flashlight app and looked at back of throat, uvula very swollen still and light yellow/white patches at back of throat, and small dots on ridge of flesh extending down from uvula at the sides, with thick yellow coating on tongue. Tonsils themselves don't look super swollen. Not a followup question but additional report of symptoms: In the 5 days preceding onset of my laryngitis, toddler came down with runny nose and conjunctivitis which I treated myself for with antibiotic ointment. Used antibiotic eye ointment ending yesterday on Day 5 of my laryngitis, so for total of about 7 days. Also head sinuses now are most swollen they've been, and I have sinus head ache (3-4 on a scale of 10) but I can still breathe pretty clearly although favoring one nostril)
Posted Tue, 26 Nov 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 3 hours later
Brief Answer: Throat swab, antibiotics, supportive medication Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for your query. 1. A laryngitis followed by a tonsillitis is most probably a viral infection followed by a secondary bacterial infection. 2. The attached image shows a severe pharyngitis and tonsillitis. Get the strep test done and request your doctor to start antibiotics and supportive medication such as an anti allergic mucolytic, decongestants, anti inflammatory medication and medicated gargles. Steam inhalation will help reduce the post nasal drip. 3. Medications that are used regularly in children and infants are safe and are not likely to interfere with conception. 4. At this stage, routine blood tests, throat swabs and sinus X-rays will help. 5. The use of steroids under antibiotic cover may be resorted to if there is delay in recovery from the laryngitis, sore throat or the sinus headaches. 6. The coated tongue is usually due to mouth breathing following nasal stuffiness and dehydration. Keep yourself and your child warm and well hydrated. I hope that I have answered your query. if you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Uvula is swollen due to laryngitis. Should I take rapid strep test? 1 hour later
Sorry forgot to add if any decongestants are safe for this period post ovulation/conception /implantation if any. My understanding is there are no pharmaceutical decongestants that are considered safe.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 16 hours later
Brief Answer: As below: Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for writing back. 1. Local decongestant drops and sprays are safe. 2. Let your physician weigh the benefits with the risks for any oral decongestants. I hope that I have answered your query. if you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Uvula is swollen due to laryngitis. Should I take rapid strep test? 16 minutes later
Hi. Did a quick strep test this morning and negative for strep A so Dr concluded viral laryngopharyngitis. So we concluded no need to take antibiotics and I should just wait it out with more rest and hydration, plus natural remedy gargles which are very soothing and seem to help short term for 1-3hrs. Throat soreness and swelling has improved a lot today and congestion is still pretty minimal. However my cough is still quite frequent and irritating, since my cough reflex is very sensitive and I am lucky if there is more than a minute between coughing bouts. It's interfering with my sleep and ability to converse. What can I take, if anything, to (fertility wise) safely reduce what seems like lingering upper bronchial inflammation which is triggering this chronic dry cough? There is hardly any phlegm and if there is any, the texture is quite chunky (color ranges from mostly green-yellow to sometimes brown), not globular or egg white like. When the Dr listened to my lungs she said all sounds clear. FYI I do not smoke. The coughing is my major problematic symptom at this point, so any recommendations for this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 31 minutes later
Brief Answer: As below: Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for writing back. 1. Good to hear that the strep test is negative. 2. Antibiotics are useful for secondary bacterial infections that worsen viral infection taking advantage of lowered immunity while fighting the viral infection. You may watch the improvement and then take a decision on taking an antibiotic course. 3. Cough suppressants will help. If there is a post viral reactive airway, use honey and fresh cream to soothe the throat. 4. Your entire argument against any medication in the first trimester of a possible pregnancy are valid, otherwise simply adding these medication will give rapid improvement. 5. A greenish yellow phlegm is a sign of a viral or bacterial infection. The darker brown color may signify healing. I hope that I have answered your query. if you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Uvula is swollen due to laryngitis. Should I take rapid strep test? 7 minutes later
Ok so re: antibiotics are you suggesting that if my condition doesn't improve and I suspect I am taking on a secondary bacterial infection, then at that time I might consider antibiotic use? Or are you suggesting that even though I've tested negative for strep A, you believe I still may have some other kind of bacterial infection which would merit considering trading with antibiotics now? If so then what antibiotics are safest in your opinion for fertility concerns? Also what is the safest cough suppressant?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 7 minutes later
Brief Answer: As below: Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for writing back. 1. Yes, considering the look of your throat and symptoms, it will be better to consider a course of antibiotic. The infection may be in your nose and sinuses. 2. Any common broad spectrum antibiotic (prescribed in children) is a safe option. You will require a prescription from your doctor. For example, Augmentin Duo is a good choice for first line treatment. 3. You may delay the plan for pregnancy by a month if the cough is severe. Other supportive medication can then be safely taken for rapid relief. 4. The human fetus is not that delicate. It can survive much greater odds. I hope that I have answered your query. if you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them. Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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