Quantifying Laryngopharyngeal Reflux in Singers: Perceptual and Objective Findings

Lloyd AT, Ruddy BH, Silverman E, Lewis VM, Lehman JJ. BioMed Research International. 2017 Sept: Article ID 3918214.

This study examines the relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms and oropharyngeal pH levels in singers. We hypothesized that reported symptoms would correlate with objective measures of pH levels from the oropharynx, including the number and total duration of reflux episodes. Twenty professional/semiprofessional singers completed the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and underwent oropharyngeal pH monitoring. Mild, moderate, or severe pH exposure was recorded during oropharyngeal pH monitoring. Correlations were performed to examine potential relationships between reflux symptoms and duration of LPR episodes. Symptom severity did not correlate with pH levels; however, we found a number of covariances of interest. Large sample sizes are necessary to determine if true correlations exist. Our results suggest that singers may exhibit enhanced sensitivity to LPR and may therefore manifest symptoms, even in response to subtle changes in pH. This study emphasizes the importance of sensitive and objective measures of reflux severity as well as consideration of the cumulative time of reflux exposure in addition to the number of reflux episodes.


Topics: pH monitoring, ENT, voice, RSI/RSF, 2017

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