The esophagus has two sphincter muscles: the lower and upper esophageal sphincter. Complications in either of these sphincter muscles can lead to some complications. When the lower esophageal sphincter has a problem, for instance, you hear someone complaining about the backflow of acidic contents from the stomach to the esophagus. According to research oriented, this could be a key symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
When the upper esophageal sphincter isn’t functioning either, the acid that flows into the esophagus gets to the throat and voice box. And when this happens, it results in a condition known as Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR). Adults with LPR experience a burning sensation at the back of the throat or a bitter taste. But other symptoms experienced by people with LPR include:
- Persistent cough
- Excessive throat clearing
- Trouble swallowing
- Trouble breathing
- Sore throat
How does a doctor ascertain if you have LPR? Several tests could be conducted to determine if you have LPR. Here are three main tests used to decide whether or not you have LPR.
- Laryngoscopy: This test is conducted to examine the conditions of the throat and the voice box.
- 24-hour PH testing: This test is conducted to access the volume of acid moving into the upper parts of the esophagus. In this case, the doctor determines whether the acid is entering the upper parts of the esophagus from the bottom.
- Upper GI Endoscopy: This procedure is done on patients who have problems swallowing. Ideally, this procedure is done to examine if there are abnormal growths or scars in the esophagus.
Who Is at Risk of Getting Laryngopharyngeal Reflux?
It is worth noting that anyone can get LPR, but this occurs more as people get older. But you could also be at risk if you are overstressed, overweight, you eat certain foods, or if you consistently wear tight clothes. Thus, working on these risk factors could help you reduce your susceptibility to getting LPR.
The good thing about LPR is that it is treatable. Just as the causes of this condition are many, the treatment options are also plentiful. Some of the main treatment options prescribed for this condition include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, surgical operations, and medication. Thus, you should not be frustrated by this condition when many possible treatment options are waiting for you out there.