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GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux are common conditions that affect a great deal of people worldwide. The ENT Associates of San Diego are dedicated to helping those with GERD find relief from their symptoms. Most people with GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux in San Diego respond well to a combination of lifestyle changes and medication.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when acid from the stomach flows back or refluxes into the esophagus. The reflux of the acid irritates the lining of your esophagus and often causes a burning sensation.
When acid refluxes beyond the upper esophageal sphincter and into the back of the throat, this is known as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Adults with LPR frequently complain of excess throat mucus, throat clearing, or the sensation of a lump in their throat. Some patients may have hoarseness or difficulty swallowing. These symptoms can be evaluated by an otolaryngologist who has the experience and tools to diagnose GERD or laryngeal reflux. Our skilled team will help guide you on possible ways to reduce GERD-related symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Symptoms of GERD and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
The typical symptoms of GERD are heartburn, regurgitation, ear pain, sinus problems, rotting teeth, difficulty swallowing, and a bitter taste in your mouth.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms include sore throat, lump in the throat, chronic cough, the constant need to clear the throat, mild hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and the sensation of having mucus stuck in the throat. Other symptoms include post-nasal drip and a swollen red or irritated voice box or larynx.
Causes of GERD and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Lifestyle factors and physical causes usually cause GERD and LPR. Daily choices such as eating citrus, chocolates, spicy and fatty foods, and harmful habits such as overeating, lying down after eating, eating late, drinking alcohol, and smoking may cause GERD and LPR.
Physical causes that may lead to GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux are abnormal or weak muscles at the meeting point between the esophagus and stomach, abnormal esophageal spasms, hiatal hernia, and slow emptying of the stomach.
Diagnosing GERD and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
GERD and LPR are initially diagnosed based on symptoms before tests are carried out. These tests usually include an endoscopy, special X-ray exams, a biopsy, and esophageal motility testing. Other tests include a 24-hour test that monitors the liquid’s acidity and flow from the stomach to the esophagus and emptying your stomach.
The usual treatment for GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux combines dietary and lifestyle changes, medications, and in some cases surgery. Some lifestyle changes include eating a bland diet, losing weight, eating frequent and small meals, propping your head correctly on the bed, and stopping the habit of clearing your throat.
Medications such as ulcer medications, antacids, and foam barrier medications may be prescribed. Some patients take these for at least a month until they have the symptoms under control. Others may take these medicines for two to three months to get results.
How Much Does a GERD Treatment Cost?
GERD treatments are individualized procedures that are customized to address the needs of each unique patient. Our team will perform an analysis of your body to ascertain how severe your condition is and develop a treatment plan to address your needs. We will then discuss the expected cost of your GERD treatment. Don’t hesitate to ask about the price of the tests and procedure during the consultation.
Contact Our Office
If you’re interested in learning more about GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux treatments, don’t hesitate to contact our office to schedule an informative consultation today. We will help develop a customized treatment plan for your GERD and laryngopharyngeal reflux in San Diego to address your specific needs and assist you in living a more comfortable life.