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Pediatric Reflux / LPR

Babies are prone to reflux because the sphincter that holds food in their stomach is undeveloped and they have such a short esophagus. This condition is exacerbated because of the amount of time they spend lying on their backs. Infant reflux occurs when a baby spits up. Laryngopharyngeal reflex (“LPR”), most commonly known as silent reflux, occurs when a baby doesn’t actually spit up which makes it harder to diagnose. He/she swallows the stomach content which is problematic because of the acidity levels. The result is a burning sensation on the way up and back down.

Symptoms of LPR/Silent reflux include:

  • Chronic cough
  • Sour breath and wet-sounding burps
  • Sudden bouts of intense crying
  • Trouble breathing or asthma-like symptoms
  • Baby pauses while breathing (apnea), or breathes noisily
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Frequent hiccups
  • Inhaling food
  • Hoarse voice
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Spitting up

Because the esophagus and throat aren’t equipped to deal with stomach acid, silent reflux can lead to irritation or even internal damage if it continues. It can cause problems with the baby’s ears, either in the form of multiple ear infections or a buildup of fluid in the middle ear. The baby can develop contact ulcers from the stomach acid, and silent reflux can also cause the area below the vocal cords to become narrower.
To diagnose silent reflux, our surgeons will conduct a physical examination and run a series of tests including an endoscopy. If the diagnosis is reflux, a treatment plan will be formulated to help ease your child’s symptoms and to prevent future outbreaks from occurring.

If your child suffers from symptoms of  chronic or reflux, please contact one of our board-certified ENT specialists and schedule an appointment for your child.

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