Elongation of the Uvula. THE, uvula is the small teat Eke or pendulous organ which hangs down~ from the palatine arch, just over the root of the tongue. It is very apt to get inflamed, and its parts becoming relaxed, it stretches out lengthwise, so that its lower extremity sometimes rests upon the tongue. (Fig. 88.) When this happens, it flaps about, backward and forward, and to the right and left, touching the throat at various points, and by the tickling sensation produced, exciting a most incessant, uncontrollable, and racking cough. Some of the most distressing coughs I have ever heard have been produced and kept up by this cause alone. Many a fatal consumption has begun in this way. When long inflamed, it often gets much out of shape, being sometimes bent nearly double.
Treatment. In some cases, the uvula, thus elongated, may be reduced back to its natural size, by an astringent gargle, composed of an infusion of white oak bark, with a little alum dissolved in it (232) ; but it will generally stretch out again and again, upon the appearance of any fresh cold, and, therefore, the only certain cure is to cut it off.
To do this, take hold of it with a pair of common forceps, and having stretched it down a little, clip it off above the forceps, with a pair of curved scissors. Nearly the whole of it should generally be removed. To take off a part only leaves a stump, which is often more objectionable than the whole organ. Its removal never injures the speech in the least. In many cases of nasal catarrh, this organ is a sort of diseased centre, from which inflammatory action spread& , upward into the nasal cavities, and no medicine or power on earth can effect a cure until this offending member is snipped off.
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