Silent reflux is the layman’s term for laryngopharyngeal reflux. It has been coined “silent” reflux because most people with the condition do not have the classic symptoms of vomiting or acid coming up into the mouth. Instead, laryngopharyngeal refluxers regurgitate the gastric contents into the larynx or voice box. Symptoms of this painful condition include: hoarseness, chronic cough, excessive throat clearing, loud breathing, interrupted breathing, heartburn pain, dysphagia and even recurrent pneumonia.
The first steps most physicians will recommend in treating laryngopharyngeal reflux are much like gastroesophageal reflux. Patients are advised to make the health and dietary changes like: stop smoking, lose weight if overweight, avoid alcohol and caffeine, refrain from eating for two hours before bedtime and sleep with the head of the bed elevated.
If the dietary and health changes do not improve the symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux an acid reducing medication, or PPI, may be recommended.
A new device called the Reza Band is offering a new solution to improve the symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux. Approved last month, the Reza Band is a device that is meant to be worn at night while sleeping. The band puts pressure on the cricoid cartilage that lies below the Adam’s apple. The pressure to the cricoid cartilage is thought to prevent regurgitation through the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) by providing added support to improve the UES function.
In clinical trials the Reza Band reduced 86 percent of patients’ symptoms within two weeks. Physician-reported results were even higher, noting that 92 percent of patients reported improvement in their symptoms. For a treatments that is non-invasive the results seem very promising.
For more information about the Reza Band you can check out the company’s website. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your treatment plan. Untreated or poorly treated laryngopharyngeal reflux can cause serious long-term side effects.
Jennifer has a bachelor’s degree in dietetics as well as graduate work in public health and nutrition. She has worked with families dealing with digestive disease, asthma and food allergies for the past 12 years. Jennifer also serves the Board of Directors for Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association (PAGER). ** See More Helpful Articles:**
Jennifer Rackley is a nutritionist and mother of three girls. Two of her children have dealt with acid reflux disease, food allergies, migraines, and asthma. She has a Bachelor of Science in dietetics from Harding University and has done graduate work in public health and nutrition through Eastern Kentucky University. In addition to writing for HealthCentral, she does patient consults and serves on the Board of Directors for the Pediatric Adolescent Gastroesophageal Reflux Association.