What is the difference between Allergic Rhinitis and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux?Ear, Nose & Throat
I've had symptoms of post-nasal drip and the feeling of phlegm stuck in my throat for over a year. I've seen the ENT and will be due for a skin prick allergy test soon, as we are suspecting a case of Allergic Rhinitis since my symptoms are particularly severe in the morning and night. However, I've realised that I usually start clearing my throat (accumulation of mucus) after eating, so now I'm wondering if this could be a Laryngopharyngeal Reflux? What is the difference between Allergic Rhinitis and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux?
Thank you for your question. Both Allergic Rhinitis and Laryngopharyngeal Reflux can cause a feeling of something stuck in the throat aka globus sensation. However, they are very different conditions.
Allergic Rhinitis refers to inflammation of the nasal cavity due to exposure to a known allergen (protein that triggers an allergic reaction in the nose - most common culprit is house dust mites). Typical symptoms include blocked nose, runny nose, sneezing, postnasal drip itchy nose and itchy eyes.
To find out more please read my article that was published in DxD ("Hate your sensitive nose? This is your cure!")
Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) refers to acid reflux from the stomach to the voice box in the throat. Common symptoms include feeling of something stuck in the throat, sore throat, cough, frequent throat clearing and hoarse voice.
To find out more about laryngopharyngeal reflux, do read my article on DxD ("This is what really causes your sore throat when you eat too much "heaty" food")
As both postnasal drip from Allergic Rhinitis and LPR can cause a feeling of something stuck in the throat (sometimes mucous or just a swollen feeling in the throat), you could be suffering from one of the two condition or both conditions.
Your ENT Specialist will need to take a thorough history and perform a complete physical examination, including a nasoendoscopy (a relatively simple and painless scope through the nose and down to the level of the voice box) to determine the likely cause of your symptoms.
Hope this helps and all the best.
Dr Gan Eng Cern
MBBS, MRCS, MMed, FAMS
38 Irrawaddy Road #08-45
Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
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