What is laryngopharyngeal reflux

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a term used by doctors to describe reflux that damages the larynx, which is the voice box and entrance to the trachea. The pharynx is the part of the throat that becomes the esophagus. If you experience changes in your voice, you might see an ear, nose, and throat doctor. To evaluate voice problems, a small camera is passed up the nose and down into the larynx (the voice box) to examine the area. LPR is a frequent cause of damage to the voice box caused by reflux of stomach acid. Usually this is treated with antacid medication. If severe, LPR can result in narrowing of the trachea, irritation of the voice box, the development of growths or polyps, and in rare cases, cancer of the larynx.

Smoking is the major cause of cancer of the larynx; however, this type of cancer can occur in nonsmokers. Reflux and LPR are risk factors for laryngeal cancer in nonsmokers.

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