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Allergies

Swollen uvula - ferret allergy?

07/01/2008

Question:

A couple of months ago my daughter got a pet ferret. Round about that time I started always feeling like there was something stuck at the back of my throat. I am now pretty sure its actually my uvula rubbing against my tongue. Also accompanying this has been coughing up huge amounts of clear, frothy phlem.

Does this sound like symptoms of an allergy to the ferret?

I did go to the hospital about it and funnily enough, they didn`t check my throat. However, they did a barrage of tests on my lungs and there`s no evidence of any kind of chest problem.

Obviously, if I do have an allergy to ferrets, we`ll have to get rid of ours. But my daughter is very attached to it and I don`t want to get rid of it, only to find the problem is something else entirely.

Thank you!

Answer:

It is possible that you are describing an allergy. The symptoms (sore throat, post-nasal drainage, phlegm) are common and are due to mucus in your nose dripping down into your throat. Certainly there are many things that can cause an abnormal feeling in your throat. People with snoring or sleep problems, viral infection, reflux or heartburn can also have similar symptoms. The best thing to do is visit your doctor and discuss the symptoms. If necessary, you may want to have your doctor send you to an allergist for specific testing and recommendations.

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Response by:

David  Hauswirth, MD David Hauswirth, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
Pulmonary, Allergy, Crtitical Care & Sleep
Pediatrics
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University