Reflux (gastresophageal reflux disease, or GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid can seep back up into your food pipe causing a feeling of regurgitation, burning in the throat, or heartburn. The backflow of stomach acid and juices into the esophagus occurs when the valve between the lower end of the esophagus and the stomach does not close tightly enough.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is a condition that occurs in people who have GERD, where acid from the stomach travels up the esophagus into the throat. Many people who have LPR do not experience symptoms of an upset stomach or heartburn, but may feel mild hoarseness, a need to clear the throat, chronic cough, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, sensation of a lump in the throat, and a red, swollen, or irritated voice box. Most cases of LPR can be managed by changes to one’s lifestyle, including maintaining a healthy weight, abstaining from eating 2 hours before going to bed, avoiding alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and chocolate, and decreasing stress.
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