Posts for tag: Acid Reflux

By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care
August 14, 2014
Category: ENT Service
Does Acid Reflux make the day painful and miserable? Does heartburn make delicious food like pizza and burgers not even an option? Acid reflux can affect all ages, male or female. Portland area residents can find out if they are suffering from acid reflux and get the relief they need at Northwest ENT and Allergy Care. An ENT can diagnose patient’s symptoms and provide the proper medication and treatment for relief. Acid Reflux Treatment
Sixty percent of the adult population will experience some type of acid reflux within a 12-month period, and 20%-30% will have weekly symptoms. If acid reflux happens more than it should, it might be time to see an ENT for proper diagnosis and treatment.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux can be caused by physical or lifestyle factors. Physical causes can include a malfunctioning or abnormal lower esophageal sphincter muscle, hiatal hernia, abnormal esophageal contractions, and slow emptying of the stomach. Lifestyle factors include diet (chocolate, citrus, fatty foods, spices), destructive habits (overeating, alcohol and tobacco abuse), and even pregnancy. Young children experience acid reflux merely due to the developmental immaturity of both the upper and lower esophageal sphincters.

How To Treat Acid Reflux? 

An ear, nose and throat specialist can provide treatment for acid reflux abnormalities. Patients can expect a physical examination and a response to a trial of treatment with medication ranging from antacids, histamine antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, pro-motility drugs, and foam barrier medications. Some can be obtained over the counter and do not require a prescription.
If needed, an endoscopic exam, biopsy, x-ray, examination of the esophagus, 24 hour pH probe, esophageal motility testing and emptying studies of the stomach may need to be performed. Most of these procedures are performed in the office. There are also many lifestyle changes that can prevent acid reflux such as: avoiding eating and drinking within 2-3 hours to bedtime, not drinking alcohol, eat small meals slowly, and limiting foods that are known to cause heartburn problems.
Find out how to stop acid reflux from ruining the day by contacting the office of Northwest ENT and Allergy Care at (503) 513-8693.
By Northwest ENT & Allergy Care PC
February 26, 2014
Category: ENT
Tags: Silent Reflux   Acid Reflux  

Silent Reflux – What is it and how do you diagnose and treat it?

What is silent Reflux?

While many people are familiar with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its primary symptom, heartburn, people may not be aware of a related but distinct condition known as laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) or silent reflux. Silent reflux affects over 50 million Americans, yet the condition is often overlooked and misdiagnosed.  Left untreated, this condition not only causes several bothersome symptoms but can also lead to life-threatening cancer. 
The most common symptoms of silent reflux are hoarseness, chronic cough, throat clearing, excessive throat mucus, postnasal drip, sensation of lump in the throat, sore or burning throat, difficulty swallowing, shortness of breath, and bad breath. Silent reflux may also be confused with other conditions such as sleep apnea, asthma, and COPD.  It is important to distinguish silent reflux from these other conditions as the consequences of misdiagnosis may have dire consequences, and the treatment for each condition is quite different. As you may have noticed, heartburn is not listed as a common symptom of silent reflux and it is the absence of this symptom that often leads to confusion by patients and misdiagnosis by clinicians who may not be unfamiliar with silent reflux.
One reason why silent reflux is often overlooked is because medical specialists often learn about different aspects of how stomach acid and enzymes affect the body. For instance, gastroenterologists are knowledgeable on the affects of stomach acid and enzymes on the stomach and esophagus. Pulmonologists are concerned with their affects on the lungs and airways. With regard to silent reflux, which primarily affects the throat and sinuses, otolaryngologists are most likely to identify and treat the condition.  Therefore, it is important to seek out the right medical specialist to properly diagnose and treat silent reflux.

How to diagnose and treat Silent Reflux?

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of silent reflux described above, you should schedule an appointment with us at NW ENT & Allergy. Your visit will include a thorough discussion of your symptoms, as well as a procedure called a fiberoptic nasopharyngoscopy. During this procedure we use a small, fiberoptic camera to visualize the throat and voice box. We are looking for swelling and irritation of these areas that are indicative of silent reflux. We are also looking for signs of throat cancer, certainly the most serious and dire manifestation of silent reflux.
Treatment for silent reflux may include medication to neutralize stomach acid, dietary changes, and/or lifestyle modifications, such as changing meals times and weight loss. It is important to understand that silent reflux is often difficult to treat and it may take weeks to months to alleviate your symptoms. Take action against silent reflux and schedule an appointment with us today.