Uvula surgery is typically a procedure undertaken with the purpose of treating severe snoring that is likely caused by sleep apnea. It’s official name is the uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, and for that reason, we’re going to continue to call it “uvula surgery,” because I’ll be damned if I’m writing that over and over again, and even if I were to copy and paste it, you’d have to pause for a bit every time you saw it, and it’d just be a waste of both of our times, as you are not a uvula surgeon and have no reason to know that.
There are other uvula related problems that can result in surgery, and there is even such thing as a uvula piercing (which is completely pointless. Don’t get a uvula piercing or you’re going to end up swallowing your uvula or at the very least losing it. And the uvula is where our courage lies, Uncle Joey tells me.), but we are not going to be getting into all of that, simply because they are relatively rare, and in general aren’t severe. There are some folk remedies that involve removing the uvula, but these are generally pointless and don’t do much for you.
Anyway, snoring is what we’re focused on. Basically, the uvula is not necessarily what causes the snoring all of the time. Snoring is caused by your soft palate, uvula, tonsils, or whatever basically settling against the back wall of your throat while your sleeping and causing the air to making a rattling or rasping sound as it attempts to escape. In most cases, snoring isn’t particularly serious, but it can be exacerbated by a number of things, such as obesity, drinking, using sedatives, smoking, and being a dude. Dudes have worse problems with snoring than women. Like my roommate in college. God, I swear, that kid rattled the windows. Not a joke. He lived in the room with two of my other roommates, and there was a living room in between their room and our room, and with both doors closed, if we had our music off, we could hear him snore. It was unbelievable that his girlfriend stayed with him as long as she did. I mean, he was a nice guy, but how can you sleep with that?
Point being, there are a number of lifestyle choices that greatly effect how bad your snoring is. As such, it’s better that you limit these risk factors than go out and get uvula surgery, but there are non-controllable health factors in getting sleep apnea. For one, it tends to show up in the elderly more often, and if you have a particularly narrow air passage in your throat, you can have problems with sleep apnea, and if this is the case, you should seek some sort of treatment, as sleep apnea can cause a number of potentially fatal problems, including heart failure, atherosclerosis and strokes. Usually, uvula surgery is the absolute last resort for snoring or sleep apnea problems, as there are a number of other solutions that can be tried first. For example, you can treat the causing factors – such as the obesity or smoking – or you can wear an anti-snoring device, or sleep on your side, and often they’ll even recommend a respirator before suggesting surgery.
As people try to find a way to get through their snoring without the use of uvula surgery, the will find that it can be possible to cure such an issue with just a few slight changes. One of the easiest forms of getting over such issues will be to quit smoking and begin to lose weight. Smoking causes a build up of mucus in the system, causing mucus and phlegm build up in the sinus cavities. When you begin the process of quitting smoking, the mucus and phlegm build up won’t go away immediately, but you will begin to notice a slight difference though immediately in the amount of coughing up of phlegm that some smokers go through. Over time, a few months, your snoring should be back to normal, as studies have shown that within that time span, people will notice a huge different breathing and their nightly sleeping habits.
Those who are subjects to obesity, they suffer from snoring as well. This is primarily due to the weight of their bodies that is constricting the airways when sleeping on their backs. To ease this issue, it helps to begin sleeping on the side to begin starting. As obesity in today’s society is becoming a problem, it is never too late to start weight loss and healthy eating. Studies and research have shown, that through the practice of eating healthier and exercise, and the right amount of sleep, will begin to immediately make a difference in their snoring and sleeping habits. As these positive effects begin to show, there will inevitably be a positive response in your uvula.
Many doctors throughout the years have blamed uvula issues and surgery upon snoring. Scientists and doctors alike, who have all agreed that surgery that is always the last option to this scenario, all say the same thing, get enough sleep. Sleep can be a leading cause in a lot of our medical problems that we endure. By getting the right amount of sleep, we can undoubtedly cure our snoring issues. However, in some cases, sleeping isn’t always the answer, it’s just only half. Those who suffer from sleep apnea must have the use of sleeping machines. The sleeping machines help to push air into the lung ways while people are sleeping, for there have been reported deaths due to restriction of the air flows, causing suffocation to those while sleeping.
That said, uvula surgery basically entails removing parts of the soft palate, uvula, or any other surfaces that are pressing against the back of the throat. These could include a couple of things, such as tonsils, the pharynx (the windpipe) or the adenoids. All of these things can be the problem in snoring, and when they are removed, they clear up the air passage so that snoring no longer happens. The side effects are relatively limited, and generally are difficulty swallowing and all of the fun stuff that comes along with removing tonsils. It’s gross, but not particularly dangerous, except in a few rare cases where it can make breathing even worse.