Not infrequently an apparently trivial symptom may be the expression of a serious affection, and if it is unheeded and the opportunity for active treatment allowed to pass it may lead to a fatal termination before its true significance has been appreciated. Such a symptom is edema of the soft palate, and especially the uvula. When observed its possible gravity must be seriously considered. Edema of the soft palate chiefly involves the uvula, but may affect the faucial pillars, especially the posterior, or even the lateral pharyngeal wall. The uvular swelling may be slight, appearing as a glistening drop at its tip, or may be so massive that the faucial isthmus is occluded and breathing becomes impeded.
SOMERS LS. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF EDEMA OF THE SOFT PALATE. JAMA. 1910;55(11):913–915. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330110013004