Why Do I Wake up with a Swollen Uvula?

Why Do I Wake up with a Swollen Uvula? | Sinus & Snoring Specialists Austin TX

Patients present to our office frequently reporting mornings where their uvula is severely swollen. The uvula is the little hanging structure in the back of the throat. It is essentially an extension of the soft palate. The patient will typically report that this occurred after a night of severe snoring. It can cause choking and be painful and may make it difficult to swallow.

Reasons for Swollen Uvula

The reason this occurs is because of nasal congestion. Breathing at night through a congested nose actually makes the velocity and turbulence of the air increase. This is a physics principle called the Bernoulli effect. The rapid and turbulent air reaches the back of the patient’s nose and enters the back of the throat where the uvula hangs. The rapid air creates a suction current as it passes the uvula. This suction current will pull on the uvula and stretch it creating swelling. The more swollen it gets the louder the snoring.

The suction current can also pull the tongue back in to the throat creating sleep apnea. The bed partner might notice the loud and annoying snoring is interrupted followed by a large gasp or resumption of loud snoring.

Balloon Sinuplasty can Help

The good news is that this issue can be easily corrected by a simple office procedure. Our advanced balloon sinuplasty procedure done in the office under IV sedation can make the nasal airway beautifully open at night to resolve this issue. And our special uvulaplasty can be performed to shorten and stiffen the uvula as well.

Schedule a Consultation

If you suffer from snoring and a swollen uvula, come for a consultation. Call our office at 512.601.0303 and get relief today.

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Posted in: Balloon Sinuplasty, Sinus and Nasal


  1. We have been looking and seeking for a specialist or treatment to resolve snoring. My fiance’s snoring is unique and I’ve noticed that his uvula is excessively swollen. I have done a lot of research on snoring and allergies and we found that there are few physicians who specialize in snoring. We live in AZ, but would love to speak with someone and are willing to travel.

    Comment by Cynthia Smith on November 20, 2019 at 2:44 am

  2. Hi Cynthia, your response to this blog got stuck in SPAM. I’m so sorry about that. If your fiance (maybe husband now?) is still experiencing issues, we would be happy to assist. We have many patients that travel from long distances to get care by Dr. Slaughter. Please give us a call – 512-601-0303. Thanks!

    Comment by Sinus & Snoring Specialists on September 21, 2020 at 8:49 pm

  3. I woke up wit an EXTREMELY dry throat an now it feels like my throat is closing up!!

    Comment by Veronica Nelson on February 21, 2021 at 6:39 pm

  4. We are happy to help you. If you are still experiencing these issues, please give our office a call. 512-601-0303.

    Comment by Sinus & Snoring Specialists on February 25, 2021 at 7:40 pm

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