Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):
is inflammation of the esophagus and often the larynx (box) caused by acid refluxing backing up from the stomach in the esophagus many people their refluxing acid reach all the way up to the voice box and higher– sometimes even into the back of the mouth and nose.
This acid causes irritation of the delicate tissues that cover the inside of the esophagus, larynx, and back of the throat. This results in various symptoms including
- a painful or burning sensation in the chest (“heartburn”)
- difficult or painful swallowing
- increased mucus in the throat (phlegm)
Figure 2 : GERD related upper respiratory diseases.
- a feeling that something is stuck in the throat (foreign body sensation or globus). (pleskow, et al; 2009)
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) may present with similar symptoms and related medical sequelae in the pediatric population as in adults, but children may also experience other problems such as feeding difficulties and anorexia, nasal obstruction or rhinorrhea, otitis media, recurrent upper respiratory infections, sleeping disorders, and subglottic stenosis. There are a variety of other pathologies affiliated with pediatric LPR, but that is beyond the scope of this text. ( Tasker A, et al; 2009)