What Is “Silent” Acid Reflux?

What Is “Silent” Acid Reflux?

If you’ve ever watched a Tums, Rolaids, or Pepto-Bismol commercial before, you’re probably familiar with the term “acid reflux” or “heartburn.” If you don’t experience acid reflux, consider yourself lucky!

If you do, then you know all about the burning chest pain, nausea, belching, and regurgitation symptoms acid reflux disease can cause. While most people will experience acid reflux at some point in their lives, “silent” acid reflux is less common and sometimes trickier to diagnose.

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux = Silent Acid Reflux

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), also known as silent acid reflux, causes symptoms similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) but without the aggravating heartburn. Because heartburn isn’t apparent in people who suffer from this condition, LPR often goes undiagnosed, resulting in stomach ulcers and recurrent infections. Furthermore, silent acid reflux can affect individuals of all ages, so there isn’t one specific demographic to monitor for this condition.

Silent Acid Reflux Symptoms

While this condition is difficult to diagnose, the team at AOC Physicians is experienced in all diseases of the ear, nose, and throat, including the larynx. Patients who suffer from silent acid reflux often exhibit the following signs and symptoms:

  • A chronic sore throat and cough
  • Difficulty swallowing and breathing
  • Needing to clear throat frequently
  • Mild hoarseness
  • Burning sensation or lump-like feeling in the throat

These symptoms may indicate the presence of LPR or a similar esophageal condition. If your doctor does diagnose you with LPR, he or she may recommend a combination of treatment options, including changing your diet, taking medications to reduce acid reflux, and in severe instances, surgery to prevent reflux.

More often than not, changing your diet and eating habits are the two best ways to reduce LPR. You should avoid eating foods and drinking beverages with a high acidic content. Our physicians may also recommend medications that are not PPIs because these medications can have a rebound effect that causes increased reflux symptoms.

As we mentioned previously, patients shouldn’t prolong treatment for their LPR because doing so I can cause serious health problems. If you feel you’re suffering from LPR, call AOC Physicians today to schedule an appointment with a member of our team. We may conduct a swallowing test or perform an endoscopic procedure to see the inside of your esophagus and stomach. Both tests will allow us to determine the best possible treatment option.

Arizona Otolaryngology Consultants (AOC) is a comprehensive ENT clinic that provides care for all diseases of the ears, nose, throat, and sinuses. The physicians at AOC have the highest level of training and expertise in ENT care and ENT subspecialty care, which includes the management of pediatric airway, cancer, skull base surgery, advanced head and neck surgical and reconstructive procedures, craniofacial surgery and more. Call 602-264-4834 to request an appointment today!

The advice and information contained in this article are for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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