Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), commonly just Gastric Reflux refers to the back flow of food or stomach acid all of the way back up into the larynx (the voice box) or the pharynx (the throat). LPR can occur during the day or night, even if a person who has LPR has not eaten during the last couple of hours.
Symptoms of Gastric Reflux (LPR)
LPR can cause serious problems noisy breathing, choking episodes, breathing problems (such as asthma or bronchitis), and very uncommonly, cancer of the esophagus, throat, or voice box.
- Chronic hoarseness, or hoarseness that comes and goes
- Throat clearing
- Feeling of a lump in the throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Some individuals have heartburn
- Others have a problem with too much nose and throat drainage
If you have any of these symptoms, and especially if you smoke, you should ask your doctor about LPR.
Gastric Reflux (LPR) Examination
If your doctor thinks that you could have LPR, he or she will probably perform a throat exam first and look at the voice box and the lower throat. If this area looks swollen and/or red, you may have LPR. At that point, your doctor may order some tests or recommend specific treatment.