Blog / Why Is Lpr Often Called Silent Reflux
Laryngopharyngeal Reflux or LPR arises when stomach contents get into the throat and upper airways. Unlike in gastro-oesophageal disease (GORD), LPR does not cause symptoms such as heartburn or regurgitation and patients often do not realise that LPR is causing their problems.
LPR can manifest in many ways, with patients reporting some or all of the following symptoms: chronic cough, sore throat, earache and asthma. Conventional diagnostic tests for reflux will be negative in an LPR patient and many doctors who treat reflux patients will therefore discount reflux as a diagnosis. This leads to the patient being told they have ‘silent reflux’ as they present with symptoms that can be caused by reflux, but their tests will be negative.
Many patients struggle to get an accurate diagnosis for years, being passed around different medical specialities like ENT, respiratory and gastroenterology. Some of these doctors may suspect LPR is causing or contributing to the patient’s symptoms but in the absence of a positive test they cannot be sure and will not usually commit to treatment.
At RefluxUK we specialise in diagnosing and treating every aspect of reflux. A patient presenting with what they have been told is silent reflux will be offered the most comprehensive range of diagnostic tests and the all the available treatment options. Because RefluxUK has a team of expert doctors that cover all the major disciplines related to reflux, they are very happy to see patient with a chronic cough, chronic sore throat or chronic earache even if they’ve had no diagnosis.
Typical tests for LPR include pH/Manometry with impedance (measures the amount of acid in the oesophagus, the pressure in the oesophagus but crucially, the presence of liquid in the oesophagus even if it’s not acidic), Restech (measures aerosolised stomach contents in the throat) and Endoscopy.