Over a year of voice problems. Very depressed. Does this sound like LPR?

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I've had problems off and on with my voice for over a year. It's getting to the point where 95% of the type, I can't speak properly. I can speak, but at a relatively high pitch, there's no growl or grit to my voice. This is a bit of a problem as my work involves audio recordings which I can't do in this state.

Over the last year I've found that various activities, such as drinking coffee with ginger, drinking beer, or just talking a lot, tend to actually "wake up" my vocal chords and make it so that I can use them properly. However, only recently the problem has become so bad that I've started to think that treating the problem as "excess mucus" is not actually getting to the bottom of the issue.

My vocal fold feels covered in mucus, if I splutter and cough I can eventually clear it, and my voice then sounds normal but within 5 minutes the mucus is back. I can also use other mucicides (such as coffee and ginger, as mentioned) and this has a similar temporal effect which I can sustain if I'm constantly talking at volume. However within a few minutes of stopped, the mucus returns, I feel like I can hardly talk and my voice tone changes significantly.

Upon deciding to investigate the problem (I have also gone to my doctor, who is currently running blood tests and doesn't yet seem on the right track...) I first thought that my problem was LPR. However, I've now been on a strict diet for almost a week. No eating 4 hours before bed, hardly any proteins or meat, no spicy food, small meals, elevating bed, etc. I've been hyperaware of my oesophogus during this time. I'm almost certain I've had no "acid refluc events", but my problem persists as if I hadn't changing a SINGLE THING!

Could this still be LPR? How long does it take to get your vocal chords mucus free after you stop the reflux?

I would be prepared to think allergies may be invovled, as I do have some food allergies. But there's no feeling of itchiness, no mucus in my nose, and the only swelling seems to come after I've had a day of coughing and clearing.

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  • Posted

    What eases it for me is alkaline water. I'll drink 2-3 glasses before I go to bed and I'll drink it again when I wake. For me, I have a climax (lol) after 2-3 hours of waking up where I'll have to cough a lot for about 15-30 minutes to clear the mucus. But, with alkaline water, it's a lot easier to clear my voice. Before, I'd be very, very, very croaky, could lose it altogether and it would be difficult to clear, like a smoker x 10. I don't get the impossible clearing; it's a lot more possible and easier to clear. It's not perfect, it means I have to visit the toilet a lot during the mornings but it does help a lot. And I'm going into teaching so I need to be able to speak! I don't want to look like an ad, but this alkaline water jug turned my water to pH 9.2 (and the culprit for mucus is pepsin from the stomach into the throat which is denatured at pH 8.2):

    I wish you the best of luck. I've had this problem ever since I could remember as a teenager (and I'm 28) and I accepted it as a way of life until I read about alkaline water on these forums. There's one called 'LPR - in need of a miracle' and a guy whose name I've forgotten, JPT or something, wrote about the alkaline water - saviour!!! 


    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the amazon link as it was to a site unsuitable for inclusion in the forums. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details. I have added a link to the other discussion mentioned above.



  • Posted

    You may have lpr or you may have something called 'irritable larynx' where previous acid damage to your throat sensitises the nerves so that even the slightest spritz of acid causes problems. Have you seen an ENT consultant? They can look at your throat with a small scope and can usually tell if things are reflux related. One tip from a speech website is to try chewing whitening chewing gum ( has bicarbonate of soda in) for approx 20 minutes after eating. This may help you. 

    I think the best thing you can do is ask for a referral, that way you can get the treatment you need. 

  • Posted

    Ps Rich - proteins are good. Carbs are bad for reflux. Plus it takes a good few weeks for the damage to heal. Have you tried raising the head of your bed on bricks? I'm sure there will be others with a lot of tips along shortly. 
  • Posted

    I'm actually concerned that I may have a cyst or some other damage like that since I've noticed no acid reflux like problems... really need to see an ENT but unfortunately that could be a rather long and tedious process on the Spanish public health system. I'll be seeind my doctor in a week when the blood test results are in and I'll make a point of asking for it then.

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