The Doctors: What Is A Uvula
Vanessa from California asked The Doctors to explain her Uvuala. Get your head out of the gutter, because the Uvula is that pink, dangly thing at the back of your throat, the subject of countless cartoon close-ups and cases of confusion with the Tonsils.
What does your Uvula do for your health? “It’s a small piece of soft tissue that can be seen dangling down from the Soft Palate, above the base of the tongue,” Dr. Andrew Ordon said. It is controlled by its own muscle, one of five that comprise the Soft Palate.
What Does A Uvula Do?
Essentially, the Uvula keeps everything on the right path in your mouth. It stands in the way of food getting in your nose or voice box, ensuring that it’s sent down the throat, to the digestive system.
Dr. Travis Stork added that it can become infected or inflamed. To show us how doctors care for your Uvula, The Doctors sent question-asker Vanessa for an appointment with Dr. Sunil Verma.
The Doctors: Uvula Exam
Using a special camera, Dr. Verma helped Vanessa check out her Uvula. When you say, “Ahh” for the doctor, your Uvula actually gets out of the way so the doctor can see your throat.
Going in from above, we saw Vanessa’s vocal cords. As she ate some Applesauce, the screen went blank, proving to Dr. Verma that the Uvula is working properly. I never thought I would see a girl eating applesauce from inside her mouth on TV.
Uvula Uses & Benefits
Dr. Jim Sears added that the Uvula can help pronounce words in other languages, producing a fricative sound that’s found in some Hebrew words, for example. Plus, singers need it for Vibrato notes.
You can even pierce your Uvula, but why would you want to? That’s weird, and most of the time no one would see it. Dangers of Uvula piercing include damage if the piercing pulls through, plus you could choke on the jewelry you stuck in there.
Uvula Causes Snoring?
Dr. Andrew said that the Uvula is partly to blame for Snoring. Snorers tend to have a longer or thicker Uvula than average. Surgical options to correct this include Laser Treatment, Pillar Procedures, or Uvulectomy.
But removing too much of your Uvula can cause problems with swallowing and maybe even speech.
The Doctors: Where Is The Spleen
Dr. Travis said that the Spleen is “soft, purple, and the size of a fist.” The Doctors asked people on the street to locate the Spleen in a picture of the human body. These street interviews never go well. Just ask Loni Love, who showed people a Mysterious Butt Picture the other day.
Their guesses as to the Spleen’s function were amazing, including: “the spleen is where the air comes out your body”; “my spleen pumps out adrenaline”; and “used to be used to process grass and things that we used to eat.”
The Drs TV: What a Spleen Does
The Spleen is about the size of your heart, and it’s found in the Left Upper Quadrant, under your ribcage. “Unless it’s inflamed, you’re not going to be able to feel it,” Dr. Travis explained. Dr. Andrew circled it on a picture of human anatomy.
Dr. Lisa explained that it’s a Blood Filter for the body’s Immune System, collecting “damaged or irregular red blood cells, and it actually can fight certain bacteria that cause a problem in Pneumonia and Meningitis.”
Dr. Jim said the average Spleen weighs 6 ounces, but when infected with something like Mononucleosis, it can balloon up to 4 pounds, and even rupture.
Can You Live Without Your Spleen?
What if your Spleen ruptures or needs to be removed? In that case, you can live without it, letting your Lymph Nodes and Liver take on some of its responsibilities. “But like you mentioned, it is important to fight certain infections,” Dr. Jim said, “So you’re going to need to take precautions, like getting certain extra vaccinations.”
Dr. Travis added that the Spleen is the reason why kids with Mononucleosis can’t play contact sports. Impact could cause the Spleen to rupture, causing massive internal bleeding.
“Once there’s a laceration in the Spleen, it will bleed like crazy, because it has such a massive blood supply,” Dr. Travis said.