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GASTRO-OESPHAGEAL  AND LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX

Condition and Symptoms

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is similar to Gastro-oesphageal reflux disease (GERD) that results from the contents of the stomach backing up (reflux). However, the symptoms of LPR are often different than those of GERD.

With LPR, you may not have the classical symptoms  such as a burning sensation in your lower chest  (heartburn). Which is why it can be difficult to diagnose and why it is sometimes called silent reflux.

At either end of your oesophagus is a ring of muscle (sphincter). Normally, these sphincters keep the contents of your stomach in your stomach. But with LPR, acid backs up into the back of your throat (pharynx) or voice box (larynx), or even into the back of your nasal airway. It can cause inflammation in these areas.

With LPR symptoms are often vague and may be easily confused with other problems.

Symptoms may include:

  • Excessive throat clearing

  • Persistent cough

  • Hoarseness

  • A sensation of a "lump" in the throat

  • A sensation of post nasal drip

  • Difficulty with swallowing or breathing

  • Sore throat


Treatment

During your consultation Miss Bentley will take a detailed history asking about relevant risk factors and key symptoms. She will examine your mouth and throat and will most likely need to pass a small endoscope into your upper airway under local anaesthetic. This can be done at the initial consultation. She may need to arrange a special X-ray called a barium swallow, depending on her findings, and will commence treatment for reflux if indicated. She works with very experienced speech and language therapists and gastroenterologists and may involve them in your treatment plan.