Reflux Laryngitis | Department of Otolaryngology | University of Pittsburgh
Reflux laryngitis is a voice disorder that results from irritation and swelling of the vocal folds due to the backflow of stomach fluids into the throat. This backflow is called laryngopharyngeal reflux acid that reaches the level of the throat. Stomach fluids contain acids and enzymes that help digest food in the stomach, but cause problems elsewhere in the food pipe [esophagus, throat, and voice box]. Reflux disease can be acid or non-acidic.
Laura Topham, pictured here, suffers from GORD, which leaves her with a constantly sore throat that she has had 'since she can remember'. In fact, like me, they could have gastroesophageal reflux disease GORD , which causes stomach acid to spill up into the oesophagus or gullet. Long term, the risk is that the acid changes the cells lining the gullet, and this in turn can lead to cancer. It can run in families but can also affect anybody, as my diagnosis shows: I am a slim, non-smoking, non-drinking, healthy-eating, thirtysomething female. So common is the condition — better known as acid reflux — that one in five Britons suffer from it at least once a week, and one in 10 daily.
Audrey Hunt is a vocal coach who lays it on the line when it comes to teaching the responsibility of avoiding vocal strain while singing. Singers and speakers alike will often acquire throat irritations. This interferes with the voice and interrupts the singing process. This can be most frustrating, especially when we don't know what causes the irritation. Any type of irritation in the larynx can rob the vocalist of a successful performance.