Most of us are well familiar with acid reflux: the feeling of heartburn localized in the middle of your chest, the discomfort you feel after eating certain kinds of food, and the acidic taste you feel burning through your throat when regurgitation occurs. Acid reflux can cause many complications if untreated, and it can be dealt with easily by taking antacids.
On the other hand, laryngopharyngeal reflux is known as the silent reflux. Unlike acid reflux, it usually comes with no symptoms to alert us of its existence. It creeps slowly through our respiratory tract, causing varying degrees of damage in its wake. The medical experts at Refluxgate explain how its silent demeanor doesn’t give the patients any reason to seek consult until the damage had already been done. Even then, it’s pretty difficult to diagnose. Doctors may take years before they finally make the right diagnosis, all at the expense of the patient.
So what it this silent reflux? What causes it? And is it true that it can be managed by simple lifestyle tweaks? Let’s find out.
What Is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)?
LPR results when the highly acidic digestive enzymes, which are normally restricted to the stomach, find their way to the respiratory tract. When this happens, they can cause a wide range of symptoms, which include the following:
- Persistent cough
- Frequent need to clear your throat
- Feeling like there’s a lump in your throat
- Shortness of breath that feels like an asthma attack
- Hoarseness of voice
- A sore throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Frequent burping
- A dripping nose