RadioMD: Staying Well

The Chronic Cough Enigma: How to Recognize the Silent Reflux

August 25, 20149 min
Silent Reflux causes stomach acid to backup into your nasal airway, throat, voice box and can be the reason for your chronic cough.If you have trouble breathing in, you may be one of more than 100 million Americans suffering from Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR), otherwise known as silent reflux.There are two valves located at both ends of your esophagus (called a sphincter muscle) that helps the flow of the contents in your stomach from one end to the other. However, with LPR the sphincter muscles don't work properly and stomach acid moves back into throat, nasal airway and voice box.Unlike acid reflux where you can feel indigestion and heartburn, the symptoms you feel if you have LPR are very different and exactly what the name suggests, silent.Symptoms include: hoarseness, postnasal drip, sinusitis, allergies, asthma, sore throat, trouble swallowing, and cough.What is enigmatic chronic cough and how is it related to LPR?Enigmatic is defined by being difficult to interpret or understand and is very mysterious. An enigmatic chronic cough is when you have a cough that has been present for more than eight weeks or more, and you are unable to identify and treat what is causing you to be chronically coughing.Since LPR causes acid to backtrack through your esophagus and into your throat, nasal airway and voice box, chronic coughing is a very common symptom.What is your Reflux Boot camp?To help recognize if your symptoms are due to silent reflux, you should follow a two-week boot camp.For two weeks you should limit your acidic food intake, no drinking or eating within four hours until bed, no processed food, no alcohol intake, no energy drinks or coffee, and avoid other carbonated beverages.What else do you need to know about preventing and treating silent reflux?Professor of Clinical Otolaryngology at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of the New York Medical College, Jamie Koufman, MD shares the difference between silent reflux and acid reflux, causes of silent reflux, and a two-week boot camp to help relieve your symptoms of silent reflux.

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