Voice complaints due to recurring / heartburn


Voice complaints due to recurring / heartburn

voting complaints by gastric acid

recurring /heartburn

Chronic hoarseness, sore throat, a burning sensation in the chest, the feeling of a lump in the throat (feeling globus), asthma, coughing or coughing, loss in the voice range, having to sing for longer: these are nightmares for singers and speakers. Yet they are realistic and often occurring sensations, which can be caused by, among other things, reflux (also popularly known as heartburn).

According to the website gastric acid.nl at least one in five Dutch people suffer from heartburn every week. This is often mild and will go away on its own. However, when it occurs frequently or perhaps unnoticed (‘silent’), it can have major consequences for the quality of life. Because let’s be honest: the slightest change in the voice, producing a different voice than usual, can be a big problem for a singer. With this article I want, Jessica Frembgen as a speech therapist and voice therapist, would like to contribute to some awareness of reflux as a possible cause of voice problems.

what is happeningwith reflux?

Sphincter muscles are located in the transition areas between throat, esophagus and stomach. These sphincters easily let whatever wants to come down. But when the food or drink has passed the passage, they close the way. Sometimes this closure does not take place, you can tell because otherwise you would not be able to burp or vomit. It happens that in a relaxed state these sphincters do not completely close off the passage and that the air that has entered with food and drink comes up again unnoticed.

Often that is the moment when gastric juices go up (reflux). The occurrence of reflux is normal in itself, we only speak of a reflux disease when the sphincter muscles are relaxed too often and for too long, causing the mucous membranes of the esophagus, throat or larynx to be affected by stomach acid. The lining of the stomach is constructed in such a way that it can tolerate that acid well, but the mucous membrane of the esophagus, and certainly that of the throat, is much more sensitive to it.

what to dowith reflux?

  1. Pay attention to your lifestyle and eating habits and adjust them if necessary: try to avoid coffee, drinks with injections, alcohol, orange juice, salt-rich foods and avoid large meals before going to bed or sleeping.
  2. Try to quit smoking.
  3. If you are overweight: try to lose weight.
  4. With nocturnal reflux: raise the head end of the bed.
  5. Using a sugar-free gum half an hour after eating can prevent any stomach acid complaints
  6. After eating 1 hour walk in combination with chewing gum

I work as a speech therapist / voice specialist at Logopédica : center for voice, speech, language and dyslexia in Roermond. I work a lot with professional voice users, including singers. It is very common for voice complaints to accompany reflux. That’s why I was pleased that I was asked to write an article about recurring heartburn.

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