Should I worry about mumps?
Mumps is a viral infection affecting the parotid glands. Mumps is not a dangerous condition and it can last for about two weeks, if there are no complications.
Mumps can cause complications such as meningitis, loss of hearing, inflammation of the ovaries, pancreatitis, orchitis and encephalitis. Pregnant women who are affected by mumps in the early stages of pregnancy should be careful with the condition and if it is not properly treated, it can result to miscarriage. In rare cases, complications caused by mumps can cause sterility in men and fertility problems in women.
Common symptoms of mumps
- Lumps or bumps in the cheeks
- The individual experiences fatigue and weakness
- There is severe pain in the salivary glands or either sides of the face with severe swelling
- Puffiness of the cheeks
- Headaches and muscle pain
- Difficulty in chewing, swallowing and talking caused by the pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mild to moderate fever
- Sore throat
Severe symptoms of mumps
- Inflammation in the testicles
- Disorientation and confusion
- Deafness and loss of hearing
- Swelling in the abdominal area with severe pain
- High fever that is more than 103 degrees F
The virus that causes mumps can be spread from one person to another through infected saliva, sharing of utensils with an infected person, coughs or sneezes from an infected person where the droplets with virus that are released in the air can be inhaled by another person and also kissing the infected person. The incubation period is 14-24 days before the symptoms start to manifest. Anyone can be affected by mumps, and this condition is more susceptible in children than in adults usually among unvaccinated children ages 2-12 years old.
Treatment and home remedies for mumps
- Get plenty of rest and relaxation until fever is gone. If possible, avoid talking in order to rest the jaw which helps lessen the pain felt around the ears.
- Cold therapy helps in minimizing the swelling caused by mumps. Simply rub an ice pack around the affected area in order to make the area numb and lessen the pain naturally.
- Make a paste by mixing dry ginger and a few drops of water. Apply the paste to the swollen area around the ears to help minimize the swelling and pain around the affected area.
- Slice a fresh aloe vera leaf so that the natural gel will come out. Rub this gel on the affected area that is inflamed in order to help in relieving the swelling and pain.
- Take the prescribed pain medications in order to help lessen the discomfort caused by the mumps.
- Eat soft and semi-solid foods such as runny oatmeal, rice porridge, creamy potatoes and foods rich in Vitamin C content such as mangoes, leafy green vegetables and cantaloupe.