The uvula is the elongated hanging structure visible at the back of the throat. It is sometimes called the hanging ball in the throat and is suspended above the tongue.
The uvula has two main functions :
- It blocks the passage into the nasal cavity when swallowing. This ensures that foods or fluids do not enter the nasal passages.
- It plays a role in articulation – assisting with the speech
The uvula also plays a part in snoring although this is not an intended function. It vibrates vigorously in those that snore and is partly responsible for the rough sound during snoring.