Have you have ever wondered what causes the bloating of the face in people who have mumps? The parotid gland which is the largest salivary gland in the body is positioned directly under your mandibular ramus and provides saliva into the mouth during eating to help with food mastication. When you get the mumps this gland becomes enlarged and creates the characteristic face floatation. The name ‘mumps’ came about from the fact that people often had to mumble during the illness as the swelling inhibited their speech.
Up until the vaccination was made in the 1960s, this viral infection was a very common problem for children and young adults in the United States. Although it is still around today, it mainly affects people in third world countries.
Symptoms of Mumps
Although the inflamed gland is the most common and visible symptom of mumps, there are a few other common symptoms which you should be aware of. Fever, fatigue and headaches are common with this illness as well as weakness and loss of appetite. For men, the testicles can become sore and inflamed as well which causes discomfort and pain.
Although mumps is quite unpleasant, it is very rarely life threatening. Some complications can occur which can cause serious health problems but these are rare and isolated incidences. These complications generally occur when the infection spreads to other vital organs in the body.
Pancreatitis – Swelling of the pancreas
- Encephalitis – Inflammation of the brain
- Hearing Loss
- Meningitis – inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal column.
Preventing and Curing the Mumps
Because it is a virus, anti bacterial medicines are generally ineffective with this disease. Like all viruses, you just have to let the disease run its course and wait till it goes away of its own accord. If there are no complications, the mumps will usually last about two weeks and there are many ways in which you can alleviate the symptoms to make yourself more comfortable during this time.
- Medication – There are a variety of different medications that help to reduce fever and discomfort. Whichever one works best for you is the one to take.
- Hot or Cold Compresses – These can help to reduce fever and to reduce the pain in the swelling.
- Fluids – By drinking lots of water you can replenish the fluid that is snapped up by the fever. Dehydration can occur during fever and by keeping yourself hydrated with water and liquid will help to make you better all the sooner.
- Avoid Chewing – By avoiding foods that require you to chew a lot you will prevent discomfort from the glands while you eat.
- Rest – Try to rest as much as you can and get a lot of sleep. Your body will be using a lot of energy in fighting the virus and will need to be kept rested and looked after to make sure it is as strong as possible to fight the disease.
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