It’s important to contact your doctor if you suspect mumps so a diagnosis can be made. While mumps isn’t usually serious, the condition has similar symptoms to more serious types of infection, such as glandular fever and tonsillitis.
Your doctor can usually make a diagnosis after seeing and feeling the swelling, looking at the position of the tonsils in the mouth and checking the person’s temperature to see if it’s higher than normal.
Let your doctor know in advance if you’re coming, so they can take any necessary precautions to prevent the spread of infection.
Because mumps is a virus, it doesn’t respond to antibiotics or other medications. However, you can treat the symptoms to make yourself more comfortable while you’re sick.
- Rest when you feel weak or tired.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen, to bring down your fever.
- Soothe swollen glands by applying ice packs.
- Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration due to fever.
- Eat a soft diet of soup, yogurt, and other foods that aren’t hard to chew (chewing may be painful when your glands are swollen)
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages that may cause more pain in your salivary glands.
You can usually return to work or school about one week after a doctor diagnoses your mumps, if you feel up to it. By this point, you’re no longer contagious. Mumps usually runs its course in a couple of weeks. Ten days into your illness, you should be feeling better.