What is reflux?

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) occurs irritating acidic juices back up from the stomach into the throat. This type of reflux can cause problems in the larynx (voice box) or the pharynx (back of throat). This can happen even if you do not have heartburn. LPR is also known as “silent” or “atypical” reflux.

What are the symptoms of LPR?

  • Dry cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sensation of something stuck in the throat
  • Sore throat
  • Throat clearing

What causes and contributes to LPR?

  • Eating habits, diet, and obesity all can contribute to LPR. Avoid/limit certain foods and products:
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Coffee or tea
  • Orange juice and other acidic beverages
  • Aspirin, NSAIDs
  • Mentholated Lozenges
  • Spicy food
  • High-fat foods
  • Tomato based products
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking

What can I do to minimize reflux?

  • Appropriate hydration
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Elevate head of bed
  • Eat slowly
  • Eat small meals, three or four times a day
  • Avoid eating before lying down or exercising

Prevention alone is not working for me, what do I do now?

In severe cases of reflux that have not responded to lifestyle modifications alone, your physician may prescribe medications to better control your symptoms.

How do I take reflux medication?

Ask your physician, pharmacist, or clinician about how to maximize the effect of these medications. Generally PPIs should be taken 30 minutes before largest meal and H2 blockers should be taken at night before bed.