What Is Silent Reflux?

You’ve heard of acid reflux — in which stomach acid or bile begins to irritate your esophagus, causing a burning feeling in your chest. You may have even heard of Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD), a chronic disease often plagued by acid reflux. But what you may never have heard of is “silent reflux.” Sometimes called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or “silent acid reflux,” the name can be a bit confusing. After all, acid reflux and GERD are not themselves particularly loud. But silent reflux has to do with where the acid goes in cases of acid reflux.

What Is Silent Reflux?

Silent reflux occurs when the acid or bile from acid reflux, rather than irritating the esophagus, flows back up the food pipe and into the larynx. This can cause a burning sensation in the throat, but is generally unnoticed in the esophagus and thus seems to come on rather suddenly. It’s for this reason that this form of acid reflux is referred to as silent. Instead, the symptoms you experience might include:

  • Excessive throat clearing
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Burning in the throat
  • Postnasal drip
  • The feeling of a lumpy throat
  • A hoarse voice

What Causes Silent Reflux?

In general, food flows from the esophagus to the stomach, at which point it is closed off from the esophagus and cannot travel upward again. However, if the stomach does not close properly, acid may flow back upward; if it travels past the esophagus into the larynx, you have silent reflux on your hands. Certain habits can make silent reflux more common, such as overeating, eating highly acidic foods, or lying down shortly after eating. Excessive smoking and drinking can also bring about silent reflux.

Treating Silent Reflux

Changes in diet can certainly lessen the likelihood of silent reflux. For instance, eating more measured portions as well as laying off caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and chocolate can all reduce the risk of silent reflux. Tight-fitting close can also egg on silent reflux, so a looser top might be recommended here. Chewing gum can help to break down stomach acid. But there are also relief options that can be taken when you struggle with silent reflux, such as the Heartburn Relief Kit from Terra Health. This helps to not only relieve heartburn and any kind of indigestion but to optimize digestion and prevent it in the future. 

Silent reflux, while less known, is a common symptom that many who struggle with acid reflux and GERD may face. Terra Health’s Heartburn Relief Kit can help. And for more information on preventing and relieving these symptoms, check out the rest of our blog.

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