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Dr. Natasha
Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Medical
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Experience:  American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
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I visited the ER a couple nights ago when I panicked after

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I visited the ER a couple nights ago when I panicked after discovering a flap behind my tongue. There was not much pain, except on the left side of my throat when swallowing occassionally. The ER doctor diagnosed me with pharyngitis and gave me a ten day prescription of amoxycillin. Is this pharyngitis or epiglottitis?
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. David replied 6 months ago.
Hello, this is Dr. David. I have read your question and I'm ready to help.

you can't see your epiglottis. which is deep back behind your throat, below your tongue and covers your airway when you swallow.

the ER doctor can look at the back of your throat and if there is redness there, this is pharyngitis. pharyngitis is much more common than epiglottitis.

why did you panic after discovering a flap behind your tongue?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Its funny, but with CBT and routine exercise I have conquered my anxiety this past two mo ths. But the other night I felt a pain and reached back in my mouth where I started gagging and felt a flap. Mind you, it was not smooth. It was unusual and raised. I have had my finger down my throat several times in my life, but never felt a FLAP. I did not SEE it, I felt it.
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.

hi
I am an ER doctor so I can answer what happened.

Epiglottitis is an emergency and they would NOT send you home with antibiotics- you would be admitted to the ICU and have IV antibiotics and steroids.

You have pharyngitis- likely strep throat.
THat is why you have antibiotics to go home.

 

That flap is your uvela. Some people can touch their epiglottis, but they really gag. And you cannot see it without a special scope.


I hope that this helped.

please leave positive feedback if it did :-)

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But what is this flap behind my tongue? I never felt it before. And I have had my finger down my throat once or twice.
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.
That is the uvela.
You cannot see your epiglottis without a special scope.
I have heard is some people touching it, but that is really rare

I hope this helped

Please leave positive feedback if it did :/)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thats what I did! I cannot see it. I can touch it. This is not the bag hanging from the roof of my mouth.
Expert:  Dr. David replied 6 months ago.
This is Dr. David

you should not be putting your hands and fingers way back in your throat. this is very dangerous.

you might have touched your epiglottis.

but this is normal to be there.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I agree. But I never felt this before. Could it be inflamed?
Expert:  Dr. David replied 6 months ago.
no, just because you try to feel it does not mean it is inflamed.

if you keep reaching into the back of your throat, you will start to inflame it.

it doesn't seem like you have your anxieties in control. you need to talk to your doctor about stronger therapy for your anxiety symptoms.
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.
Well that is your epiglottis :-)
But like I said, if they think it's inflammed- you'd be in the icu- because it can cause airway obstruction and they don't want to risk that

I hope this helped

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.
You won't cause any inflammation by touching it.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Okay but I went in there because of finding that and freaking out. My throat wasn't sore until I found this. Yet the doc told me it was pharyngitis.
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.
I promise you, if you had epiglottitis, you would be very very ill.
You would have difficulty swallowing your saliva and possibly have problems breathing.
It has a mortality of 25%- you would look sick
A mild sore throat, even if you could touch the epiglottis is not going to be epiglottitis.


I hope this helped

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks. Sorry to pester. I am working through my anxiety in CBT and this was a big hiccup.
Expert:  Dr. Natasha replied 6 months ago.
this is not to worry about :-) keep working on your anxiety. Setbacks happen

I hope this helped

Please leave positive feedback if it did :-)
Dr. Natasha, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 11186
Experience: American Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and Ivy League trained. Medical Review Officer trained in Drug Testing
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