Connection Between Laryngopharyngeal reflux and Obstructive Sleep Apnea

are often no GERD symptoms present. The key is recognizing the upper throat signs like hoarse voice, coughing, throat clearing and swelling. An endoscopy can check for inflammation of the larynx and esophagus. A pH study monitors acid levels in the throat and esophagus.

OSA is diagnosed through an overnight sleep study, where sensors track breathing patterns, oxygen levels, heart rate and more. This confirms the frequency of apneas that occurs through the night.

Treatment Options for laryngopharyngeal reflux

Lifestyle modifications play a major role in reducing acid reflux and managing OSA:

  • Losing weight – Reduces throat tissue and pressure on the stomach. This is one of the most effective ways to improve OSA.
  • Avoiding alcohol, smoking, and medications that exacerbate symptoms.
  • Eliminating trigger foods – Fatty, acidic, spicy and fried foods can trigger reflux.
  • Eating smaller meals – Prevents overfilling the stomach and reflux.
  • Avoid eating 2-3 hours before bed.
  • Sleep with head elevated on an incline if possible.
  • Try sleeping on the left side instead of the back or right side.

Dietary supplements can also help manage laryngopharyngeal reflux:

  • Probiotics – Restore good gut bacteria and improve digestion. Specific strains like DE111 have been researched for laryngopharyngeal reflux.
  • Zinc Carnosine – Reduces inflammation and helps heal the esophageal lining. Shown to improve hoarseness from reflux.
  • DGL Licorice – Soothes irritation and swelling in the throat.
  • Melatonin – Improves laryngeal inflammation and symptoms of LPR.

For moderate to severe OSA, CPAP therapy is often required. The continuous positive air pressure delivered through a facial mask helps keep the airway open during sleep. This can also help reduce acid reflux by preventing the pressure fluctuations in the chest that drive reflux during apneas.

In severe reflux cases, medications to reduce stomach acid may be prescribed short term along with the above lifestyle measures. This includes H2 blockers like Zantac and proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec. However, long term use of these medications can result in side effects and nutrient deficiencies.

Low stomach acid can contribute to a weakened sphincter and more reflux. As we age, stomach acid production tends to decline. This results in poor digestion and the inability to close the esophageal sphincter effectively.

Some natural ways to support stomach acid production include:

  • Taking HCL supplements containing betaine hydrochloride with meals – Increases stomach acidity to aid digestion.
  • Drink apple cider vinegar diluted in water before large meals – The acetic acid can help digestion and pressure.
  • Bitter herbs like ginger, gentian, wormwood – Stimulate increased stomach acid secretion.
  • Eating raw, fermented foods – Provides probiotics and enzymes to strengthen digestion.

Summary laryngopharyngeal reflux

New evidence reveals a significant correlation between laryngopharyngeal reflux and obstructive sleep apnea. And the sleep disturbances make acid reflux worse through pressure changes in the chest. Diagnosing and properly treating laryngopharyngeal reflux in OSA patients, and vice versa, may provide substantial relief for both conditions. Lifestyle measures to manage reflux alongside CPAP therapy and natural methods to support stomach acid can help break this vicious cycle.

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