LPR (Acid Reflux): Stomach acid in the throat

LPR can cause:
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Too much throat mucus
  • A "lump" in the throat
  • Chronic cough
  • Heartburn

What is Reflux and What is LPR?

Reflux refers to the back flow of stomach contents. Normally, once the things that we eat reach our stomach, digestion should begin without the contents of stomach coming back up again. The term LPR refers the the back flow of food or stomach acid all 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.

How Do I know If I Have LPR?

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

How Is LPR Treated?

Treatment for LPR should be individualized, and your doctor will suggest the best treatment for you. Generally, there are several treatments for LPR:

  1. Changing lifestyle habits and diet to reduce reflux
  2. Medications to reduce stomach acid
  3. Surgery to prevent reflux

Most people with LPR need to modify how and when they eat, as well as take some medication, to get well.