Temilade Openiyi, the Nigerian singer better known as Tems, recently revealed she is diagnosed with Reflux Laryngitis.
The 27-year-old music star also disclosed that her health condition influenced her decision to postpone two shows, which were scheduled to hold in Birmingham and London.
Reflux Laryngitis is one of the most common disorders of upper airway inflammation but it’s mostly misdiagnosed and undertreated.
WHAT IS REFLUX LARYNGITIS?
Reflux Laryngitis — also called laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — is a voice disorder that results from irritation and swelling of the vocal folds due to the backflow of stomach fluids into the throat.
Stomach fluids contain acids, chemicals, and enzymes that aid digestion normally. However, the fluids can become poisonous if it leaves the stomach and gets to the throat, esophagus, and voice box.
WHAT CAUSES REFLUX LARYNGITIS?
Reflux Laryngitis is basically caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the throat and esophagus when you swallow. However, a study showed that certain lifestyle habits also increase the risk of it. Lifestyle habits like smoking, wearing tight-fitting clothes, and stress among others.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF REFLUX LARYNGITIS?
The symptoms of Reflux Laryngitis are mostly felt in the throat. They include:
- Sore throat
- Mild hoarseness
- Lump in the throat feeling
- Burning in the throat
- Excessive need to clear the throat
- The sensation of mucus sticking in the throat
- Bitter/sour taste in the mouth
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Red, swollen, or irritated larynx (voice box)
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Detecting Reflux Laryngitis early is important as untreated LPR can lead to the development of cancer of the voice box.
Most cases of LPR do not need intense medical care but a change in certain lifestyle behaviors. So, the following can reduce the backflow of stomach acids:
- Eat frequent, small meals
- Lose weight
- Avoid spicy and fatty foods
- Avoid going to bed on a full stomach. So do not eat food less than 2 hours before bedtime
- Avoid clearing your throat too often
- Avoid taking alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco
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