What’s That Dangly Thing at Back of Throat?

Have you ever questioned precisely what that fleshy extension at the back of your palate, hanging simply above the throat is? What is the function of that dangly thing at back of throat? Keep reading to discover responses to all your questions about that fleshy hanging structure.

What Is the Dangly Thing at Back of Throat?

That dangly thing at the back of your throat is the uvula or the palatine uvula. It is a conic project found in the middle of the soft palate at the back of your throat. This dangly structure is composed of several connective tissue and has several racemose glands in addition to muscular fibers.

1. Muscle

The uvula has a muscle inside it, called the musculus uvulae, which helps the uvula modification its length and width. It also assists change the shape of the posterior part of the soft palate. The change is needed to let the soft palate to adapt according to the circumstance to close the nasopharynx while swallowing.

2. Function

The uvula has 3 functions:

  • When swallowing, uvula blocks the passage to nasal cavity to make sure that foods and beverages cannot get into it.
  • Uvula aids with speaking.
  • Although this is not planned or a significant function, it participates in snoring. Vibrating energetic, uvula is partially accountable for that sough noise you make during sleeping.
uvula swollen

Slightly swollen uvula

3. Variation

There can be some variations of uvula, like a split or cleft uvula. For instance, a newborn with a cleft palate may have a split uvula. This circumstance is likewise called bifurcated or bifid uvula, which is the outcome of incomplete combination of the palatine shelves. It includes less muscle as compared to a normal uvula, which is why you are more vulnerable to frequent middle ear infections when you have a bifid uvula. It is very important that the uvula flexes backward and touches the back of the throat when you eat something to prevent food from entering your nasal cavity.

Problems Related to That Dangly Thing at Back of Throat

Now that you understand that dangly thing at the back of your throat is uvula, you might likewise want to find out more about particular issues associated with it.

1. Uvulitis

The condition describes the swelling of the uvula, which can make the flap 5 times bigger than its regular size. The swelling might happen due to dehydration, inhaled irritants, extreme cigarette smoking, allergic reactions, snoring and bacterial/viral infections. With the swelling of the mucous membrane around it, the uvula will begin touching the tongue, triggering issues like gagging or choking. Severe swelling may likewise cause problems in consuming, breathing and talking.

2. Bifid Uvula

As discussed currently, it refers to a split uvula that doesn’t have adequate muscle in it to broaden when needed. You will experience problems associated with the nasal cavity, like middle ear infection, when bifid uvula fails to push the soft palate backwards while swallowing food.

3. Snoring

That dangly thing at back of throat has close relations with snoring. Actually, you may snore since of other issues like weak muscles, sleep apnea, and so on, which will likewise impact your uvula. On the other hand, your snoring issue may well be since you have actually a lengthened uvula.

4. Velopharyngeal Insufficiency

It describes a condition where your uvula fails to close appropriately versus the back of your throat. This will make you speak from your nose with a big quantity of extra air coming out of the nose, specifically when you try to pronounce consonants like “b”, “g”, “p”, and so on

5. Nasal Regurgitation

The soft taste buds and the uvula have to close the nasopharynx to keep food from entering your nasal cavity when swallowing, but that is not constantly the case. Sometimes, the uvula cannot close the nasopharynx, leading to a condition called nasal regurgitation. You are more likely to experience this condition if you currently have Myositides, neuromuscular conditions and VPI.

6. Sleep Apnea

If your uvula is longer than typical, you may end up dealing with sleep apnea. The situation ends up being even complicated when scar tissue kinds and decreases the area in the velopharynx. In this situation, you might need to remove the uvula through a surgery called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP).

Uvula Discomforts Treatments

If that dangly thing at back of throat is triggering issues, it is essential to try to find a good treatment option. Here are some methods of fixing the concern and bringing the uvula back to its regular state.

  • Gargle with warm water to dampen the uvula. This will invigorate it and help relieve any problems. Prevent excessively warm water or you will end up burning the uvula.
  • Your doctor may ask you to have some ice cream to solve problems with your uvula. You may even get excellent outcomes by drinking cool beverages. Doing this will relieve your chafed uvula. Attempt this only if you are not prone to cough, cold or fever symptoms.
  • You can soothe your inflamed throat and uvula with cough lozenges. These lozenges keep it from becoming dry, which in turn prevents more stress.
  • You must stop consuming specific foods when your uvula is swollen or inflamed. The list consists of food consisting of a lot of carbs and fats such as fried meal, pasta, poultry, rice, potato, and so on.
  • You must include more veggies and fresh fruits to your daily regimen. Simply make sure to avoid anything that is high in salt.
  • You ought to stop drinking alcohol if you want your uvula to return to its regular state due to the fact that alcohol promotes dryness that will aggravate the uvula.

 

References

Updated: August 13, 2016 — 1:12 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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