Why Do I Wake up with a Swollen Uvula?
- Posted on: May 15 2018
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.