Here’s how LPR can cause pain above the Adam’s apple, says an E.N.T. doctor.
LPR stands for laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, and is a common culprit in pain or discomfort above the Adam’s apple.
“Throat pain is not a normal symptom; this does not mean, necessarily, that something bad is going on with the throat,” says Dr. Stacey Silvers, MD, of Madison ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery in NYC, who is board certified in otolaryngology.
Dr. Silvers continues, “The Adam’s apple refers the thyroid cartilage. This tissue, like any tissue in the body, can get inflamed. In this case it is referred to as chondritis.”
Chond = cartilage, and itis means inflammation.
“Common things are common however, and pain in this area is invariably caused by acid reflux, otherwise known as silent reflux (LPR),” explains Dr. Silvers.
“LPR is when acid gets up into the back of the throat around the level of the larynx and the opening of the esophagus.
“The symptoms include post-nasal drip, throat pain, lump in the throat, trouble swallowing, pain with swallowing, throat clearing and cough.
“Stomach acid is an irritant and does not belong in the throat. The pH of this acid is 2 and is highly acidic and irritating to the tissues.
“This causes pain, swelling and the body to try to protect itself with thick mucus from the back of the nose. (causing a feeling of post-nasal drip and the need to clear the throat).”
Rubbing your fingers on the Adam’s apple will not make the pain or discomfort go away.
The solution is to avoid triggers of the acid reflux and hence, the LPR, though stress is often a trigger—and difficult to avoid.
An NYC expert in ear, nose and throat care, Dr. Silvers has been named among America’s Top Physicians and Surgeons in facial plastic surgery and otolaryngology numerous times since 2003.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
Top image: Shutterstock/Niran Phonruang