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What is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux?
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR or Silent Reflux) is a condition in which acid from your stomach gets into your throat or voice box (pharynx/larynx).
It happens when your lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between your esophagus and your stomach, fails to close. This causes your stomach acid to move backward, called reflux. Anyone can experience LPR, but it occurs more often as we age.
What is the Difference Between Laryngopharyngeal Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is when acid from your stomach refluxes into your esophagus (swallowing tube) alone. Your esophagus is less sensitive than your throat, so there is less risk of damage with GERD than LPR. The most common symptom is heartburn.
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) is when your stomach acid travels through your esophagus and into your throat or voice box. People with LPR often don’t experience heartburn, which is why it’s called Silent Reflux.
Common Symptoms of LPR
The common symptoms of LRP include:
- Frequent laryngitis
- Throat clearing
- Chronic cough
- Trouble swallowing
- The feeling of a lump in the throat
- Excessive mucus
- Post-nasal drip
- Breathing problems
UR Medicine's Treatments for Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Some people can manage reflux through diet and lifestyle changes alone, while others may need medication. Surgery may be recommended in severe cases.
Diet and lifestyle changes include:
- Avoiding or limiting certain foods (such as acidic foods, fruit juices, and caffeine)
- Eating slowly
- Avoiding lying down or exercising after eating
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding anti-inflammatory drugs (Ibuprofen, Aleve)
- Avoiding eating or drinking before bedtime
What Sets Us Apart?
UR Medicine Voice Center provides state-of-the-art evaluation and management of individuals with voice, swallowing, and airway disorders. Our team of specialists includes fellowship-trained ear, nose, and throat physicians, speech-language pathologists, and singing specialists. Our experts have specialized training in diagnostic and therapeutic techniques and work collaboratively to diagnose and treat voice and breathing disorders.
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Patient Education & Support
Dropping Acid by Jamie Koufman, M.D., and Jordan Stern, M.D., with French Master Chef Marc Bauer. This book contains a list of common foods and their pH levels.