Published: Jan. 20, 2010
Updated: Aug. 4, 2011
Acid reflux refers to acid from the stomach backing up into the esophagus (or food tube). This is also called acid reflux disease, gastric reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). If the acid travels up the esophagus and spills over into the voice box (or larynx), it is called laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR.
Some people have what is knows as "silent reflux," where there are no obvious heartburn symptoms.
Stomach acid is very corrosive. If it comes into contact with the voice box, it can cause irritation, burning, or swelling. It can also make vocal fold injuries worse and slow down the healing process for these injuries.
Your doctor will decide the best treatment for acid reflux for you. He or she may recommend changing your eating habits to help your voice. Your doctor may tell you to:
Your doctor may also prescribe medication for acid reflux. Be sure to take the medication(s) as directed. In severe cases of reflux that don’t get better with diet changes or medicine, the doctor may recommend surgery to keep the acid from backing up into the esophagus.