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Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) occurs when stomach contents back all the way up into the pharynx or throat. LPR is similar to a better known condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, LPR does not always cause a telltale burning sensation in the chest.

In healthy individuals, a muscular ring at the end of the esophagus prevents gastric acid from rising out of the stomach. For patients with LPR, the muscular ring does not function correctly, allowing for gastric acid to reach the larynx, throat.

Adults with LPR may experience:
  • Dysphagia, or trouble swallowing
  • A constant urge to clear the throat
  • Chronic cough and/or hoarseness
  • A feeling of a lump in the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • Heartburn (less likely than in patients with GERD)
Temple's otolaryngologists are highly experienced in diagnosing and treating any kind of swallowing disorder, including laryngopharyngeal reflux.

LPR can usually be treated with simple lifestyle and diet changes, such as:
  • Avoiding fatty, spicy or highly acidic foods
  • Avoiding caffeine, alcohol and tobacco
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals
  • Avoiding eating less than 2 hours before going to bed
  • Sleeping with the head elevated
  • Losing weight
  • Taking acidic-reducing medications, such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors