Acid reflux occurs when acidic stomach juices travels up from the stomach into the esophagus. There are two different variants of acid reflux – GERD and LPR. The most typical symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, indigestion and regurgitation.
This is something that can even happen when you are on a completely healthy and nutritional diet. If you lay on the bed at the wrong time, like just after eating, it may cause some gastric contents to reflux up near your esophagus.
However, your larynx reacts differently. Different body parts react in a different way to acidic substances. For example, if you put lemon juice on your tongue, it will evoke taste, while in the eye will cause a burning sensation. In the same way, stomach acid affects your larynx in a different way than your esophagus. When a small amount of acid comes into contact with your larynx, it often causes throat clearing, excessive mucus, or a lump in throat sensation called globus.
Could acid reflux be a cause of your voice change?
Yes, there are chances that acid reflux affect your voice and can cause some changes in your voice, but usually, it takes a lot of reflux to cause inflammation that injures your vocal cords. If you are not having any symptoms like heartburn and a persistent cough on top of acid reflux, there are good chances that acid reflux can be the cause of your voice change.
More often than not, the root issue is something completely different.
Your voice is controlled by your vocal cords
Our voices produce healthy clean sounds by having soft, flexible vocal cords. The primary function of the larynx is to protect the airway. It protects it by closing it off. When you swallow, your larynx closes off. During this, food can pass into your esophagus without aspiration. When patients feel some abnormal voice changes, there is a problem with their vocal cords.
The symptoms have a wide range
If you are experiencing any changes in your voice, it is probably because of abnormalities with your vocal cords and their ability to vibrate regularly. Sometimes, this is due to a growth on the vocal cords (like a vocal cord nodule or polyp). The change in your voice may also be due to vocal cord nodules, cysts, acute laryngitis, vocal trauma or muscle tension in the voice box.
Many people are misdiagnosed
Commonly, patients will go to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor with isolated voice symptoms and the doctor may not have enough training and expertise, or the diagnostic capabilities to provide a firm diagnosis for your voice abnormalities.
How To Heal Vocal Cords From Acid Reflux
It’s important to note that acid reflux rarely causes voice changes. A specialist may advise you with a detailed laryngeal endoscopy to get a correct diagnosis. Depending on underlying issues, there are many treatment options.
There is a complete interdisciplinary team, consisting of voice specialists, a laryngologist, a singing voice specialist and speech pathologists that are specialized in voice and behavioral rehabilitation. They make a thorough diagnosis that can lead to the groundwork to the recovery.
One of the vital members of the above-described team are the non-surgical voice repair specialists who can rectify various health problems in general (especially the above-mentioned related ones) and your voice in particular.