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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18460
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Have developed a hoarse voice and have thick yellow mucus

Customer Question

Have developed a hoarse voice and have thick yellow mucus that I blow out my nose more so in the morning I have no trouble swallowing this has gone on for several weeks now could acid reflux be causing this I have no other symtoms
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

Yes, acid reflux can cause irritation of the throat and upper airways causing hoarseness and an increase in mucus. It is more common that hoarseness and upper airway mucus is due to a primary condition affecting the upper airways, such as allergies or non-allergic inflammation. However, in some patients, it is due to acid reflux.

In someone with known acid reflux or heartburn, that would increase the likelihood that acid reflux is causing the hoarseness and mucus. Similarly, if treating acid reflux eases the hoarseess and mucus, that would also be good evidence that these symptoms are due to acid reflux. If the Nexium has not helped, then it would be reasonable to augment the Nexium with a liquid antacid or ranitidine, either of which work by a different mechanism, so may do better at controlling stubborn acid reflux.

It also would be reasonable to try medicines that work for allergies or non-allergic inflammation, such as antihistamines or a steroid nasal spray. However, it is usually better to try to treat only one condition at a time, so that it is apparent which intervention is working to relieve symptoms.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I also seem to have fluid in my middle ear how is acid reflux diagonosed
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 1 year ago.

Although doctors may make a presumptive diagnosis based solely on typical symptoms, there are a couple tests that can make a more definitive diagnosis. The most commonly done is an endoscopy, which uses a tube and a small camera to allow the doctor to look directly at the esophagus and stomach. Another test that is more sensitive at detecting the overall frequency and severity of reflux is a 24 hour pH probe, in which a small probe that measures pH is left in the esophagus for a day and records the pH continuously, with the acidic stomach contents causing a dramatic decrease in pH in the esophagus during periods of reflux.

A barium swallow or upper GI also may indicate reflux and was the primary method of detection at one time, but it is less sensitive and has been largely replaced with the above tests.