Drs. Michael and Adrianne Vaughn
115 Gallery Circle
San Antonio, TX 78258
(Stone Oak MRI/Urgent Care Bldg.)
Treatment of Stomach Acid Reflux Improves Asthma Symptoms.
Article Title: Treatment of Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) Improves Symptoms in Asthmatics.
Introduction: The Laryngopharyngeal area of the upper airway is located in the back of the throat where the openings of the esophagus and trachea originate. (This is also where the vocal cords are located). Even tiny amounts of acid, escaping from the stomach, can causes serious inflammation and irritation in this area. Most people with LPR do not have obvious or typical symptoms of acid reflux such as "heartburn." Symptoms of LPR are often noted only as throat irritation similar to that caused by post-nasal mucous drainage. This may result in frequent throat clearing, throat fullness or pain, cough, hoarseness or problems during inspiration called "stridor." In addition to causing stridor, LPR can also trigger asthma in asthmatics *(Asthmatic wheezing occurs during expiration - or blowing air out of the lungs).
Article Summary/ In this study, 28 people with mild to moderate Asthma were evaluated for LPR by direct visualization of the vocal cord area using a laryngoscope. 75% were found to have evidence of LPR. These patients were then treated with an acid blocker (protonix 40mg/day) for 3 months. Asthma and LPR symptom questionnaires completed before and after treatment were compared. It was found that the treatment of LPR significantly reduced both asthma and LPR symptoms including: daytime and nighttime cough, hoarseness, throat fullness, and shortness of breath.
Personal interpretation: LPR is a very common problem among those with asthma. This study suggested that 3/4th of all patients with mild to moderate asthma may have LPR (and most persons are usually unaware of it). LPR should be suspected in anyone with poorly controlled asthma and this study demonstrated that medical treatment could significantly improve asthma symptoms.
The most common contributing factor to reflux is caffeine use and it should be strictly avoided. Other common sense precautions include: no late meals or excessive fluids within 2 hrs. of bedtime, no alcohol consumption, and avoidance of acids in the diet. (Citrus, tomato, vinegar, sodas)
Asthma & Allergy Associates