Anatomy word of the month: uvula

The little fleshy appendage hanging from the back of your soft palate is called the “little grape” in Latin. As part of the palate the uvula helps seal off your nasal cavity from your throat cavity during swallowing. This works very well, except when you vomit! When the doctor asks you to say “aaah”, he or she wants to see the uvula in the midline. If it is deviated or pulled to one side, this may be a sign of paralysis of one side of your throat muscles.

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