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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder: Lifestyle, symptomatology, and voice profile

1 Wall Street Audiology, Expert Hearing Solutions, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
2 Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Sri Ramachandra University, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Prakash Boominathan
Department of Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, Sri Ramachandra University, Porur, Chennai - 600 116, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jlv.JLV_3_17

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Background: “Lifestyle changes and gastroesophageal reflux disorder [GERD]” is an increasingly emerging concept in voice practice (ENT and speech-language pathologist [SLP]) in India. The treatment protocol in vogue is initially a change in lifestyle with or without medical therapy. Materials and Methods: This study profiled lifestyle patterns and acoustic analysis findings of voice in 30 participants who were clinically diagnosed (symptoms and laryngoscopy findings) with GERD, and compared them with 30 participants without symptoms of GERD. Results: In this study, the highest frequency of occurrence of GERD was found in the fourth decade of life. More than 70% of the participants were nonvegetarians, coffee “lovers,” and consumed high-fat laden food rich with Indian spices. Eating habits, stress levels, voice use, and sleep habits were dependent on occupation. Majority (94%) of the participants were in sedentary, “high-stress” jobs, that induce such habits. Common symptoms reported were retrosternal burning sensation, water brash, throat irritation and pain, dry cough, and voice change. Perceptual analysis revealed low-pitched phonation, hoarseness, and breathiness (moderate to severe) as the most deviant parameters. Acoustic analysis showed deviant frequency and perturbation measures compared to participants without GERD symptoms (P < 0.05). Conclusion: The possible causes and factors contributing to voice changes with GERD that pertains to this geographical location, culture, food habits, and ethnic group are explained in this article.

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