Laryngopharyngeal Reflux is a medical ailment that is often confused with Acid Reflux or GERD, however, they are actually very different conditions, with different causes, and very different symptoms. This article is dedicated to describing what exactly LPR is, and what causes it so that you can identify it if it ever does occur to you. For more information about GERD or acid reflux, you can click here.
LPR is basically a medical condition in which the contents of the stomach start backing up (also known as refluxing). However, unlike acid reflux, the symptom manifestation is the opposite of what you would expect. The symptoms that accompany LPR include a persistent cough, hoarseness, excessive clearing of the throat, noisy breathing and so on. These symptoms can easily be misdiagnosed for a number of other medical conditions, and this is why LPR is usually always misdiagnosed by doctors the first time.
The most common cause of LPR is an abnormality in the stomach. Our stomachs naturally have sphincters, and one of the sphincters, namely the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) separates the muscle wall of our stomach from our chest. However, if you have a medical condition known as a hiatal hernia, the LES ends up moving above the diaphragm, away from its natural location, and since the diaphragm is not there to prevent the acid from rising up out of our stomachs, acid starts freely moving into your stomach without any control. This can then end up traveling upwards, and then causing the above-mentioned symptoms. However, if doctors are able to detect the hiatal hernia early on, they can work on treating the hernia, and at the same time, give you medication and a treatment course that can help mitigate and relieve the painful symptoms of LPR.