In the following article we will be discussing about what Uvula is, its removal i.e. Uvulectomy and snoring treatments and home remedies for snoring:

What is the uvula?

what-is-a-uvula The uvula is an organ that hangs from the top of the throat and is bell-shaped.It’s made from saliva-producing glands, connective tissue, and some muscle tissue. When you eat, your uvula and soft palate prevent liquids and foods from going up your nose. Your soft palate is the muscular, smoother part of the roof of your mouth. In some cases people need to have their uvula, and sometimes even part of their soft palate, removed.

Why might it have to be removed?

Uvula removal is done with a surgicalprocedure called an uvulectomy. This removes all the parts of the uvula. Uvulectomy is usually done to treat some of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or snoring. As the uvulacontains many salivary glands it plays a small function in keeping the mouth moist. Also it plays a role in how we are able to or fit to articulate. However, you most likely will be unable to articulate clearly after having an uvulectomy or not suffer from dry mouth (xerostomia). Your uvula vibrates, when you sleep. If you have a long or especially large uvula, it can vibrate enough to make you snore. In other cases, it can cause OSAby flapping over your airway and blocking the airflow into your lungs. Uvula removal can help prevent snoring, it may also help symptoms of OSA. If you have a large uvula that interferes with your sleep or breathing, your doctor might recommend an uvulectomy. The uvula is partially removed as part of UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty), more frequently. This is the main surgery used to clear the blockage and shrink the palate in OSA. UPPP removes excess tissue from the pharynx and soft palate. During this procedure, your doctor may also remove the adenoids, tonsils, and all or part of the uvula.

What happens during surgery?

what-happens-during-surgery An uvulectomy surgery is performed in your doctor’s office. To prevent you from feeling pain, you’ll get both an injected and topical local anesthetic in the back of your mouth. On the other hand,UPPP, is done in a hospital. You’ll be pain-free and asleep under general anesthesia. To do an uvulectomy, your doctor will usean electric current or radiofrequency energy to remove your uvula. The whole surgical procedure takes about 15 to 20 minutes. In case of UPPP, they’ll use small cuts to remove extra tissue from the back of your throat. The length of the surgical procedure depends on how much tissue needs to be removed. You might even need to stay in the hospital overnight.

Does uvula removal have any side effects?

After the procedure, you might notice some rough edges and swelling around the surgical area for a few days. A white scab will form or appear over the place where your uvula was removed, it should disappear in a week or two. For some, removing the whole uvula can cause:
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • throat dryness
  • one may feel like there is a lump in their throat
  • This is why doctors try to remove only a part of the uvula whenever possible. Other possible risks of the procedure include heavy bleeding and infection. After the surgical procedure,if you have any of the following mentioned serious symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
  • a fever of 38°C(101°F) or higher
  • non-stop bleeding
  • hard to breathe because of throat swelling
  • fever along with chills
  • severe pain even after taking pain medication

  • How long does it take to recover?

    How-long-does-it-take-to-recover After an uvulectomysurgery, it takes about three to four weeks to fully heal. But within a day or two of surgery, you’ll most likely be able to go back to work or other activities. Just don’t operate heavy machinery or drive if you’re still taking painkillers. Ask your doctor when it’s safe for you to exercise and do more strenuous or exhausting activities.After UPPP surgery, you may need to wait a few days before going back to work or other activities. It could take up to six weeks for you to completely recover.

    How to stop snoring? | Snoring treatment and Home remedies

    Snoring treatment To treat your snoring, your doctor likely will first recommend lifestyle changes or home remedies that are mentioned later in the article. For snoring accompanied by OSA, your doctor may suggest or recommend:
  • Oral appliances that are form-fitting dental mouthpieces that help advance the position of your tongue, jaw and soft palate in order to keep your air passage open.
  • The possible side effects from wearing these devices are excessive salivation, jaw pain, facial discomfort and dry mouth.
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an approach which involves wearing a mask over your mouth or nosewhile you sleep. To keep your airway open during sleep, the mask directs pressurized air from a small bedside pump.
  • CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure) eliminates or removes snoring and is often used to treating snoring when associated with OSA. Although CPAP is the most effective and reliable method of treating OSA, some people have trouble adjusting to the feel or noise of the machineor find it uncomfortable.
  • Upper airway surgery. There are a number of procedures that seek to prevent significant narrowing during sleep and to open the upper airway through a variety of techniques.
  • Home remedies for snoring To prevent or quiet snoring, try some of these home remedies or tips:
  • Lose weight, if you’re overweight. People who are overweight may have extra tissues in the throat that contribute to or cause snoring. Thus losing weight can helpreduce the snoring.
  • Sleep on your side. Lying on your back allows your tongue to fall backward into your throat, in turn narrowing your airway and partially obstructing the airflow. Thus try sleeping on your side it may help prevent snoring.
  • Raise the head of your bed. By raisingyour head of the bed by about 4 inches may help in snoring problems.
  • An External nasal dilator or Nasal strips. Adhesive or sticky strips applied to the bridge of the nose help increase the area of the nasal passage, thus enhancing the breathing, for many people. A nasal dilator is a stiffened adhesive or sticky strip applied externally across the nostrils that may help decrease airflow resistance which makes breathing a lot easier. However, External nasal dilators and Nasal strips aren’t effective for people with OSA.
  • Treat nasal obstruction or congestion. Having a deviated septum or allergies can limit airflow through your nose. Hence this forces you to breathe through your mouth in turn increasing the likelihood of snoring.If you have chronic congestion,ask your doctor about a prescription for a steroid spray. You may need surgery in order to correct a structural defect in your airway, such as a deviated septum.
  • Limit or absolutely avoid sedatives and alcohol. One must avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least two hours before bedtime, and before taking sedatives, let your doctor know about your snoring. Alcohol and Sedatives depress your central nervous system, causing excessive relaxation of muscles which also includes the tissues in your throat.
  • Quit smoking. If one quits Smoking it may reduce snoring, in addition to having numerous or many other health benefits.
  • Get enough sleep. For adults at least seven hours of sleep per night should be their aim. The recommended or suggested hours of sleep for children vary by age.
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