Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) originates from a person who has a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When acid from the stomach makes its way up to the esophagus, or swallowing tube, and eventually gets to the throat, this is laryngopharyngeal reflux.
It may be hard to diagnose as LPR may not have the same symptoms as GERD. Because of this, Laryngopharyngeal reflux has the nickname of silent reflux.
Most symptoms of LPR are related to sensations of the throat. These may include:
- Mild hoarseness
- Sensation of mucous sticking in the throat and/or post-nasal drip
- Chronic cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Red, swollen, or irritated voice box
These symptoms are very similar to asthma, but it should be noted that they are still very different conditions and should be treated as such.
LPR may be caused by what you eat. Common foods and beverages such as chocolate, soda, acidic foods, and mint-flavored foods can irritate the stomach, leading to laryngopharyngeal reflux. Another major cause of LPR is smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol. By watching what you eat and maintaining a relatively healthy exercise it can help prevent LPR.
Who gets Laryngopharyngeal reflux?
Older people are usually the ones to start developing signs of LPR. Older people that wear tighter clothes are overweight and more emotionally stressed are likely to eventually develop LPR. Even though it is more likely older people will develop LPR, anyone can still get this condition if they suffer from any of the risk factors.
What if LPR is left untreated?
Untreated LPR can cause several troubled conditions, such as a sore throat, ulcers on the vocal cords, and formation of granulomas in the throat. It can even cause a worsening of asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis. If still left untreated, LPR can eventually cause cancer in the voice box.