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Pharyngolaryngeal Reflux: Complete Guide

Pharyngolaryngeal reflux is a medical condition that, although less known than gastroesophageal reflux, can significantly affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

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Here, we will delve into what this condition is, its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, possible complications, and when it is crucial to seek medical help.

What is Pharyngolaryngeal Reflux?

It is a form of acid reflux in which the contents of the stomach rise up to the pharynx (throat) and the larynx (voice box), rather than being limited to the esophagus.

This condition can cause a range of respiratory and throat symptoms due to the irritation caused by stomach acids.

Symptoms of Pharyngolaryngeal Reflux

Pharyngolaryngeal reflux can manifest through various symptoms that mainly affect the throat and surrounding areas.

Common Symptoms

  • Hoarseness: Individuals with pharyngolaryngeal reflux often experience a change in their voice, especially a more hoarse voice.
  • Chronic cough: A persistent cough may be a sign of irritation due to acid reaching the throat and larynx.
  • Feeling of having a lump in the throat: Many patients describe a persistent sensation of something stuck in the throat.
  • Difficulty swallowing: Known as dysphagia, this condition can occur if acid damages the tissues of the throat.

Lesser-Known Symptoms

  • Bad breath: The rising acid can carry undigested food and bacteria, causing halitosis.
  • Voice changes: Some individuals may notice their voice becoming deeper or losing the ability to reach certain notes when speaking or singing.
  • Frequent throat irritation: Constant sensation of irritation or burning in the throat.

Diagnosis of Pharyngolaryngeal Reflux

Diagnosis involves a combination of physical examinations, symptom evaluation, and specific tests such as:

  • Laryngoscopy: Allows the doctor to directly visualize the larynx and throat to detect signs of irritation or damage.
  • pH monitoring: A test that measures acidity in the throat to confirm the presence of acid outside the stomach.
Diagnóstico Del Reflujo Faringolaringeo

Treatment and Management

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes

  • Avoiding trigger foods: Foods such as chocolate, coffee, spicy, fatty foods, among others should be avoided. The doctor will list ideal foods for your diet.
  • Elevating the head while sleeping: Using extra pillows or raising the head of the bed can help prevent nighttime reflux.
  • Not eating before bedtime: Avoiding eating at least 3 hours before bedtime can reduce symptoms.

Medical and Surgical Options

  • Medications: Proton pump inhibitors and antacids can reduce acid production.
  • Surgery: In severe cases, procedures such as Nissen fundoplication may be recommended.
Complicaciones Posibles

Possible Complications

Long-Term Effects

Untreated pharyngolaryngeal reflux can lead to complications such as throat scarring, voice changes, and, in rare cases, laryngeal cancer.

When to Seek Urgent Medical Help

It is crucial to seek medical attention if experiencing:

  • Severe difficulty swallowing or breathing.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Intense throat pain that does not improve.

If you suspect you have pharyngolaryngeal reflux or if the described symptoms are familiar to you, consult Dr. Lech

Testimonials from Dr. Lech
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Laura Ruiz Ruiz
LAURA RUIZ RUIZ
2022-06-21
La verdad mi hija y yo nos sentimos muy bien atendidas por el el dr. Lech, estamos siguiendo el tratamiento lo cual ha estado haciendo un buen efecto en ella y mejorando su calidad de vida. Muy agradecida siempre!!!
Yanixa Baloy
Yanixa Baloy
2022-05-19
Excelente Dr. Muy amable y excelente atención..lo recomiendo.
Xiomara Pinillo
Xiomara Pinillo
2022-05-19
Buen Dia Esperando todo se encuentren bien.- Lo que puedo comentarle es q el Dr. Lech es una excelente persona, no solo como medico sino como un ser humano, es muy especial en la atencion a sus paciente.- Soy fiel testigo de eso porque lo he vivido y he escuchado de otras persona y colegas. Bendiciones a tod@s.-
Michel Guerrero
Michel Guerrero
2022-04-25
Excelente su atención, muy empático y atento, muchas gracias, lo recomiendo.
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