Also Known As: Uvulitis, Swollen uvula, Enlarged uvula
The palatine uvula, usually referred to as simply the uvula ( //), is a conic projection from the posterior edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers (musculus uvulae).
At times, the mucous membrane around the uvula may swell, causing the uvula to expand 3–5 times its normal size. When the uvula touches the throat or tongue, it can cause sensations like gagging or choking, even though there is no foreign matter present. This can cause problems with breathing, talking, and eating.
There are many theories about what causes the uvula to swell, including dehydration (e.g. from arid weather); excessive smoking or other inhaled irritants; snoring; allergic reaction; or a viral or bacterial infection. An aphthous ulcer which has formed on the uvula can also cause swelling and discomfort.