What Is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) and How Is It Diagnosed?

Experiencing persistent throat discomfort, hoarseness, or a chronic cough can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know the cause. For many individuals, these symptoms may be linked to laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), a condition where stomach acid travels up into the throat, causing irritation and inflammation.

Understanding LPR, its symptoms, and the diagnostic process is crucial for finding relief and improving your quality of life. Find out what you need to know about this illness below.

What Is Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)?

Laryngopharyngeal reflux happens when stomach acid moves up into your throat and irritates the tissues. 

Unlike regular acid reflux, which mainly bothers your food pipe (esophagus), LPR bothers your voice box (larynx) and throat (pharynx). This can cause symptoms like:

  • Hoarseness
  • Chronic cough
  • Throat clearing
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Feeling of a lump in the throat

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and may interfere with daily life. However, with proper diagnosis and treatment, relief is possible.

Diagnosing of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Diagnosing LPR typically involves a combination of patient history, physical examination, and specialized tests. Here’s what you can expect during the diagnosis process:

  • Medical History: Your healthcare provider will inquire about your symptoms, medical history, and lifestyle habits that may contribute to LPR, such as diet and smoking.
  • Physical Examination: Your throat, nose, and mouth may be thoroughly examined to assess any signs of inflammation or irritation.
  • Laryngoscopy: This procedure involves using a flexible scope with a camera to examine the throat and voice box for signs of irritation or tissue damage.
  • pH Monitoring: pH monitoring measures the acidity levels in the throat and esophagus over a period of time to determine if acid reflux is occurring.
  • Esophageal Manometry: This test measures the pressure and movement of the esophagus to evaluate its function and rule out other conditions.
  • Barium Swallow: In some cases, a barium swallow may be performed to assess the movement of food and liquid through the esophagus.

Schedule a Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Consultation in New York City

If you’re experiencing symptoms of LPR, don’t hesitate to seek professional evaluation and treatment. Dr. David Volpi at New York ENT specializes in diagnosing and treating LPR and other throat-related conditions. 

Contact us today at 212-873-6036 to schedule your consultation and take the first step toward relief.

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