What is 'Silent' Reflux?
Did you know that it is possible to experience acid reflux without the typical heartburn symptoms? The condition is called silent reflux, or laryngopharyngeal reflux, and it may be more dangerous than you know. The following post will help you determine if you may need to see your doctor Dr. Adrian Varela at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR for treatment.
What is Silent Reflux?
Inside your esophagus, you have two sphincters. These sphincters help the foods and beverages you put in your stomach stay there. In people with silent reflux, however, these sphincters don't work properly, and acid from the stomach is allowed to travel up through the throat and into the larynx or nasal passageway.
Silent reflux is very similar to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but the symptoms are different.
What are the Symptoms of Silent Reflux?
Unlike with GERD, silent reflux typically does not cause heartburn. Instead, it often results in coughing, excessive throat clearing, hoarseness, trouble breathing or swallowing, a sore throat, or a sensation of having a lump in the back of the throat. In children and infants, additional symptoms may include troubling feeding, spitting up excessively and trouble gaining weight.
Is Silent Reflux Dangerous?
Silent reflux can be dangerous, especially if it is not treated by a professional at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR. When left untreated, silent reflux can lead to ulcers, infection, fluid build-up and narrowing of the throat. It can cause scarring, increase your risk for cancer and even worsen other medical conditions including asthma, bronchitis and emphysema.
How is Silent Reflux Treated?
Silent reflux is typically treated through a combination of medication and certain lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes may include avoiding eating and drinking prior to bedtime, eating smaller meals more frequently, limiting certain foods, quitting smoking and drinking, and wearing looser clothing. In some severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
If your throat is painful and scratchy and you can't figure out why, silent reflux may be the diagnosis you've been missing. Call and schedule an appointment with a Dr. Varela at Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC in Milwaukie, OR to get the relief you need once and for all.