LPR

The term LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX (LPR) refers to the backflow 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 hasn’t eaten a thing during the last couple of hours.

This page is meant to help patients in the Woodstock, Georgia area with the questions they may have about the condition such as:

  • What is LPR?
  • Do I have LPR?
  • Strategies for reducing reflux and LPR

Tinnitus Frequently Asked Questions

What is Reflux and what is LPR?

The term REFLUX comes from a Greek word that means “backflow” and usually refers to “the back flow of stomach contents”. Normally, once the things that we eat reach the stomach, digestion should begin without the contents of the stomach coming back up again, or refluxing.

The term LARYNGOPHARYNGEAL REFLUX (LPR) refers to the backflow 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 hasn’t eaten a thing during the last couple of hours.

Not everyone who has reflux has LPR. Some people who reflux just into the esophagus (the swallowing tube that joins the throat to the stomach). If this happens a lot, a person may develop heartburn (a painful, burning sensation in the chest).

How Do I know if I have LPR?

Chronic hoarseness, throat clearing, and cough, as well as a feeling of a lump in the throat or difficulty swallowing, may be signs that you have LPR. Some people have hoarseness that comes and goes, and others have a problem with too much nose and throat drainage, that is, too much mucus or phlegm.

If you have any of these symptoms, and especially if you smoke, you should ask your doctor about LPR. The specialist who most often treats people with LPR is the otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician).

If your doctor thinks you could have LPR, he or she will probably perform a throat exam first and look at the voice box and 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.

Many people with LPR don’t have heartburn. Why is that?

Some people with LPR have a lot of heartburn, but people who have LPR usually don’t have heartburn very often.  In fact, half of the people who have LPR never have heartburn at all. This is because the material that refluxes does not stay in the esophagus for very long. In other words, the acid does not have enough time to irritate the esophagus.

However, if even small amounts of refluxed material come all the way up into the throat, other problems can occur. This is because the compared to the esophagus, the voice box and throat is much more sensitive to injury and irritation from stomach acid.

Tips for reducing reflux and LPR
  • If you use tobacco, QUIT. Smoking may make you reflux.
  • Don’t wear clothing that is too tight, especially around the waist (trousers, corsets, belts).
  • Do not lie down just after eating… in fact, do not eat within three hours of bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeine (especially coffee and tea), soda pop, and mints, if they increase your symptoms.
What kind of problems can LPR cause, and are they serious?

LPR can cause serious problems. LPR can cause noisy breathing, choking episodes, breathing problems (such as asthma or bronchitis), and very uncommonly, cancer of the esophagus, throat, or voice box. (For cancer to develop as a result of LPR, the LPR must be very severe for many years.)

Can children get LPR?

Yes, throat and lung breathing problems in infants and children can be caused or worsened by LPR. LPR is more difficult to diagnose in children, so infants and children who may have LPR should be taken to specialist for pH-metry and other tests.

Talk With an Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician

Just fill out the form below and we will contact you to set up an appointment.

Or call: 770-516-0661

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What You Need to Know About Your Appointment

There are certain things you will need to do in order to be ready for your appointment. Here are just a few. There may be others that the office will notify you of verbally.

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A list of your medicines

It is very important that we have a complete list of medicines that you are taking. Providing an incomplete list could lead to serious interactions with medications we may perscribe.

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Family Medical History

A detailed family history should be provided. In many cases, it is very important to know if a certain condition “runs in the family”.

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Your Medical History

Your personal history of medical conditions and procedures can play a big role in both diadgnosing and treating current conditions.

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Patient Intake Form

If you are a new patient, you will be required to fill out a secure online form. This will need to be done before your appointment. Not having this completed beforehand will delay your appointment, and therefore, your treatment. You can find that form by clicking here.

“Dr. Pratt and staff are the best. Dr. Pratt did my daughter’s ear tubes when she was 4 she has never has a sinus issue since she’s now 18. Dr. Pratt removed polyps from my nose and has been treating me for allergies. Your in good hands with Dr. Pratt and staff!”

K. McElvaney

Patient

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281 Heritage Walk Woodstock, GA