Each week we select a question or two that represent an issue noted by several other members and are also questions that are “meaty”; i.e., allow us to go deeper into the disease of GERD. However, there are a great number of excellent questions that only require a short response – and yet, they are still valuable to you, the visitors to RefluxMD. We will try to provide these short responses each week to answer more questions and to help you find your path to relief.
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I have had GERD since 2002 (it is very bad currently) and I am due for an endoscopy exam this year. I have a constant gastric reflux cough and I would like to know what tests I need for this problem? Are there treatments that can help me?
There are many conditions that could result in a chronic cough, however, if a specialist diagnosed you in 2002 with GERD, then your symptoms suggest LPR, or silent GERD. Dr. Dengler wrote an article titled Chronic Cough, Throat Clearing, Hoarseness? Think Reflux, where he discussed silent reflux and offered several ideas on how to manage it. Recently the FDA approved the Reza Band, a device that is used at night to control LPR symptoms. You can learn more about this in an article we recently posted titled, Is relief finally in sight for people with LPR?
There are several tests used to diagnose silent reflux and to determine the progression of the disease. The most popular is a thin, small scope that is used to examine the throat and the voice box. A larger scope, endoscopy, is used to both examine the esophagus and to take tissue samples if damage is noted. Our medical advisors also prefer a 24-hour pH test to determine if reflux is causing the symptoms. You can schedule a consult with either an ear, nose and throat specialist or a GERD expert for this evaluation.
I hope this helps
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