Reflux Laryngitis: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 4/5/2019

Reflux laryngitis is inflammation of the voice box (larynx).

The most common symptom of reflux laryngitis is heartburn. Other associated symptoms can include difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, cough, throat clearing, vocal cord spasms, and the feeling of a foreign body stuck in the throat. Symptoms of asthma or sinusitis may also develop.

Causes of reflux laryngitis

Stomach acid backing up (reflux) into the esophagus (also known as acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) causes reflux laryngitis. The cause of the reflux of stomach acid is complex and is not fully understood. Many conditions can increase the risk of acid reflux, including lower esophageal sphincter abnormalities, abnormal motility of the esophagus, hiatal hernias, obesity, and slow or prolonged emptying of the stomach.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/5/2019

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