Acid Reflux Sore Throat – How Long Does it Take to Heal?

Acid Reflux Sore Throat Healing Time

When someone has a sore throat that is due to acid reflux this is called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) or sometimes referred to as silent reflux. The reason it is sometimes deemed silent reflux is because the other symptoms that would be common for someone with typical reflux symptoms like heartburn usually aren’t present. For someone with LPR most of the symptoms revolve around the throat though are other symptoms which you can read about in my LPR symptoms article.

Let me explain a little about how LPR is caused before talking about healing time – If you weren’t aware there is a thing called pepsin which is a digestive enzyme which is used to help digest protein that is produced in the stomach. When you reflux this pepsin refluxes up along with the acid and can enter the throat and basically try and digest it! This is mostly why your throat will feel sore and inflamed because of this pepsin and acid combination.

For someone with silent reflux this pepsin can lay dormant in the throat and can be reactivated more by foods/drinks that are more acidic coming in contact with it – so it is important to stick to a certain diet plan to allow your throat to heal properly.

To get started I would recommend that you check out my LPR diet – The first steps or if you want a more detailed diet plan check out my Wipeout Diet Plan. Also if you want more information on how pepsin works and how it affects the throat check out my complete LPR guide which covers all the causes, symptoms and treatment in depth.

If you have this sore throat and you feel it is because of acid damage then you must follow my suggested treatment advise which entails following my diet as I mentioned above and also taking Gaviscon advance (UK version) which I write more about here – Why Gaviscon Advance is the best Gaviscon.

The reason I wanted to briefly explain these points is because they will get you on the right healing path which I will talk more about now.

Acid Reflux Sore Throat Healing Time

I am often asked how long does LPR take to heal or what is the LPR recovery time? Well, if you are someone who hasn’t been following my treatment advise and you have this nagging sore throat this could be in fact hindering you from healing and for a lot of people that would be true.

With that being said healing time will depend a lot of a host of factors. Let’s assume you have silent reflux and are eating a diet that will only prevent it from healing then in that case it may be very difficult for you to heal because you are constantly eating/drinking things that will flare/irritate it further which is how I cured my silent reflux.

If you are following my advice your healing should start and get you on the right track. Of course, for everyone the healing time may massively vary. For example, someone who only has minor pain in their throat and follows my advice could be symptom free in as little as 1-2 weeks. Though in comparison someone who has is suffering from it more consistently and more severely may need many months of healing. For myself I suffered with silent reflux badly for about 2 years’ time and it was it this point when I implemented the same advice I am suggesting to you. For me my LPR treatment time took about 6 months’ time to completely heal although I did see improvements as soon as a few days after starting, and from that point it was a gradual healing process until I was completely healed.

On a final note if you aren’t sure if the root cause of your sore throat is because of acid I would suggest taking my RSI quiz here called the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) Test. The purpose of this quiz is to show you that if you score over a certain amount there is a high probably that your root cause is related to acid reflux.

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below or send me a private message here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What helps a sore throat from acid reflux?

The best thing that helps with this is a low acid diet plan. Importantly to start to want to follow a diet plan that avoid the most prominent trigger foods for acid reflux. For some people that will be enough to help or completely remove symptoms. For others they will need to do a more strict low acid diet to see improvements, like avoiding foods and drinks with a pH (acidity level) of less than 5. You can also take medication to help, there are a plethora of options but the best choice is Gaviscon advance (ideally the UK version) – This helps create a layer on top of the stomach contents which helps prevent acid from refluxing up and into the throat.

How long does it take for sore throat to heal from LPR?

There is no simple way to answer this question because everyone is different. For some people it can be healed in a matter of days if not a couple of weeks, whereas for others they will need to follow a strict healing regime for many months to see the same improvement. One thing to remember here is that if you have been suffering from LPR symptoms for longer then it will likely take you a little longer though that isn’t always the case.

Can acid reflux cause a sore throat?

Yes acid reflux can absolutely cause a sore throat. Acid and a digestive enzyme called pepsin can reflux up into the throat where they can cause damage and irritation, this is known as Laryngopharyngeal Reflux(LPR) or sometimes called silent reflux.

How long does it take for acid reflux to heal?

Depending on your symptoms and what is causing your acid reflux there is a wide range of answers to this question. With an effective treatment plan acid reflux can be healed and recovered from rather quickly for a lot of people. Usually some minor diet and lifestyle adjustments will be enough for a lot of people to completely recover from acid reflux whereas others may need to make more extreme changes. To give a general answer I would say for someone who has more minor acid reflux it could be healed within a couple of weeks whereas for someone with more severe acid reflux it could take months but that isn’t always true.


49 thoughts on “Acid Reflux Sore Throat – How Long Does it Take to Heal?”

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      I don’t know for sure but it could definitely be related because of how the acid and pepsin can damage and irritate the inner ear, so likely there could be a correlation.

  1. Avatar for Lexi

    Can anybody out there give me any help please. I have recently been diagnosed with GERD after suffering for a while with almost constant heartburn and a feeling of a lump in my throat. I had a barium swallow which diagnosed the acid reflux which has now been constant for almost 3 months now. I have no idea what triggered it off but it is awful all day apart from first thing in the morning. Then as soon as the day goes on it creeps up and gets worse and worse. I have tried avoiding all the usual triggers and have also had 2 very unsuccessful attempts on PPIs. After trying the first for 3 weeks I stopped as there was no change at all and it ended up making me feel worse. With the second I have been on them for almost a month (2 a day g) and again no change whatsoever. It is making me very low. I was also diagnosed with depression but after taking an SSRI for a while I had to stop because of a serious side-effect. I have yet to go back to my doctor but wondered if anybody out there has had similar lack of success with medication for severe and almost constant GERD. None of even the heavy duty antacids make any difference either and I have tried apple cider vinegar and honey too. Any suggestions as it is severely impacting my life.

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Best 2 things to do are a strict diet plan that avoids all acidic foods like the wipeout diet I created. Also in terms on medicine I recommend Gaviscon the uk version, it has been proven to be the most effective remedy to treating silent reflux symptoms.

    2. Avatar for Debi lee

      I’m getting exactly the same symptoms only mine is worse at night ,cant sleep due to the pain in my throat and chest ,cant see a Doctor only phone call and she given me tablets, for 3 weeks now haven’t made any difference so worried as with this virus I keep thinking it’s that, will try gaviscon, really hope can see a Doctor soon !

  2. Avatar for john maldonado

    I have had a sore throat for almost 2 months. ENT says my throat looks normal. Possible reflux but no likely. I have also been swabbed for pathogens and its come back normal. My most bothersome symptom is burning throat irritation. Ice chips help a lot. Any advice would be appreciated.
    About me: I use a cpap with humidification. slightly over weight. mouth breathing might be a problem.

  3. Avatar for Lucy Alexandra Houghton
    Lucy Alexandra Houghton

    Can you recommend anything that heals or protects the larynx area apart from alkaline water etc? I was told that gastritis is causing my acid to bubble up and cause the reflux instead of going down as it should, does this sound right?

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Lucy, Best thing you can do to protect the larynx is to stop the acid coming up and being damaged by acidic foods passing over it and reactivating the pepsin. This is done by a low acid diet like my wipeout diet plan and taking the uk gaviscon advance after meals.

  4. Avatar for Johnty

    I had problems with my ears for a while and i blame lpr..i had mild tinnitus and it got worse..i also got what could be described as severe flutter…sounded like helicopter blades whirling around…i now use high ph water for sipping thru the day but not before eating and not till way after..we still need acid for digesting our food and a water-bicarb of soda mix which i spray into my moith and throat…i am fi ding not as much pain in the last few weeks and i also nasal wrinse with this soloution from time to time..
    I personally find this helps me but what works for me may not help others…sensible foods and drinks is a must as David says….thanks for the reply David i will certainly e mail sooner than later…

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Johnty,
      Yes that definitely will help because the alkaline mixture helps neutralise the pepsin in the throat which is usually the main cause of LPR. It also helps settles the stomach acid too. You are most welcome, I hope this helps.

  5. Avatar for Lucy Houghton

    Had an endoscopy yesterday without sedation (fun!) And everything is normal!! No hiatus hernia, no ulcers 100% normal. Over the moon, I think I burned my stomach with chronic taking ibuprofen on an empty stomach. Lesson learned!

  6. Avatar for Deborah

    Hi my most troublesome symptoms is painful swallowing I have been on a low acid diet for almost 4 months. It is improving very very slowly. Is this normal ? I have been diagnosed with lpr. My other symptoms have mostly subsided (burning throat burning ears and nose and sour taste )

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hey Deborah, Good you are seeing progress at least. Sometimes yes it can take some months for healing. Though it is possible you could be making some minor mistakes with your diet, send me an email and I can give you better advice based on what you are eating.

  7. Avatar for Rocks

    Hi David, ??

    I’ve recently been diagnosed with lpr. Typically my voice is extremely hoarse and feels a bit tender. I notice that I have to clear my throats more so than usual after eating. Is there anyway to speed up the healing process? What spices would you recommend that I stay away?

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hey Rocks, Yes there are many things diet of course, gaviscon, not eating soon before bed, drinking soothing tea like chamomile and not overeating just to name a few. There are many spices that should be avoided would be easier to list the ones that are okay to eat. Spices like ginger, fennel, cumin, paprika are the first spices that come to mind that are okay to enjoy.

  8. Avatar for Michelle

    I’ve been experiencing dry mouth for the past few weeks along with my LPR symptoms (sore throat, lump in throat). It feels like my tongue is heavy and is harder to speak. Is this related?

  9. Avatar for Ronald

    I read that Melatonin can cure LPR, because scientists believe that melatonin can stengthen the sphincter, there are good results with it. Anybody experienes with Melatonin and LPR?

  10. Avatar for Charles Mahon

    In mid November I woke up to violent acid reflux coming up into my mouth twice in a week. I haven’t had those symptoms since, but I do get that uneasy feeling in my stomach throughout the day at times. I have been prescribed Nexium, after being on Prilosec for 20 yrs. I went to see an ENT and he diagnosed me with inflammation on top of the voice box cartilages after eight weeks on Jan. 23rd. It has been terrible to talking at times as the throat pain will get worse as I talk, or raise my voice. It’s hard to constantly keep quite, even though that’s what I need. Has anyone else suffered like I have? I watch what I eat now, but could benefit from your diet.

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hey Charles, Yes I have had that symptom the same as yourself and as have many more with LPR, it’s a common symptom. I do believe a low acid diet like the one I created to be the best way to stop it from happening. While sometimes H2 blockers can help I don’t think they are the best choice and I especially recommend to avoid PPI tablets. Hope this helps.

  11. Avatar for Mark Gil

    I am suffering LPR for 2 weeks then I reached a doctor. Then she give me prescription meds for two weeks such antacids, antibiotic and vit c supplement. Almost a week of drinking meds but still my body temp not normal 37.4 degrees. How could treat my body temp?

  12. Avatar for Sam

    Hi David,
    I’ve been diagnosed with severe LPR by my ENT a month ago and have been on PPI (pantropazole) – 40 mg for about 46 days (my GP started me early), now on 20 mg for 3 days. I’m planning to taper of it and how would you best advice me to do it considering that I’ve not used it that long?

    The only symptom i have is a burning throat/sore throat which seems to be getting less severe (I think) as I’m adapting lifestyle/diet changes. I guess my vices are eating late, overeating, exercising heavy after eating sometimes, dark chocolate sometimes after dinner, and sleeping with 1-3 hours after dinner (not all the time). I was having throat irritation since mid Jan this year i think.

    Also can i taper with Gaviscon Advance and what are the long term side effects of Gaviscon?
    Do LES/UES heal over time with the damage done or will this be generally a lifetime sentence?

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Sam,
      I actually covered how to taper off PPIs on my article here – getting off PPIs and acid rebound. Yes you can taper with Gaviscon as it should make the transition easier. There are not really any major long term side effects of gaviscon. The LES and UES can heal yes, though it’s not certain that they are your root cause.

  13. Avatar for Paul Mc

    This is utterly maddening – Have had this since last September.

    Went to Doc first and was prescribed antibiotics. Didn’t work. Went again, different antibiotics – didn’t work. Doc ended up in hospital himself so went to locum when it got really bad and was prescribed strong antibiotics – didn’t work. Enter coronavirus. Was so frustrated by it all went to pharmacy to have instant swab test to see if it was bacterial – it wasn’t. Have wasted over 600 euros with Doctors because they follow a particular protocol and don’t swab you there and then.

    My Doc got better and said he would refer me to specialist but corona in full flow so too risky so it was down to me and here we are. The reason I believe it to be LPR, apart from familiar symptoms(especially lump in throat), is because after I take a half teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and drink it down slowly, I get relief.

    5 days ago David, I started taking your advice with a very strict diet and things have got a little worse but manageable with paracetamol and sodium bicarbonate. I imagine it might have become worse because, well I’m not sure to be completely honest but I’m speculating that the drastic change in diet might have provoked an initial reaction, I hope.

    The commentary here and your site are bringing me hope and inspiration – will try the spray approach with sodium bicarbonate(can’t find alkaline water anywhere here in Dublin) and will refine my diet further still as needs arise and definitely buying some Gaviscon advance this afternoon.

    Thanks very much for this great resource, this issue has subsumed my life by now and is really grinding me down so any help is deeply appreciated. Sincerely, Paul.

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Paul,
      Sorry for your bad experience. The antibiotics likely make things worse I imagine because they aren’t great for the stomach and digestive system as a whole as you probably know. I think a lot of us have had a somewhat similar experience to you in the sense of struggling to get the right answers when it comes to diagnosing LPR in the first place.

      It sounds like you are on the right track now, with the diet and also the Gaviscon, also definitely alkaline water will help if you can find some option locally.

      On top of that things like not eating soon before bedtime (3 hours minimum) and not eating big portions are also a great idea.

  14. Avatar for Sheetal

    Hi. I’m suffering from the same problem. Antacids take time to heal? I’m been taking it for two days. No difference.

  15. Avatar for Shubham

    Hello from 1 months I m suffering dry throat like something is stuck in back of throat and sometimes feels like shortness of breath from mouth and even feels discomfort in stomach with no fever is it really because acid reflux ?

  16. Avatar for Shubham b

    Hello from 1 months I m suffering dry throat like something is stuck in back of throat and sometimes feels like shortness of breath from mouth and even feels discomfort in stomach with no fever is it really because acid reflux ?

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Absolutely both the lump in throat feeling and the shortness of breath can be because of acid reflux more appropriately called LPR of course.

    2. Avatar for David Gray

      Absolutely both the lump in throat feeling and the shortness of breath can be because of acid reflux more appropriately called LPR of course.

  17. Avatar for Kan

    Hello David,
    I have LPR and sinus, both seem to be making the other worse. I started following an alkaline diet but one side of my ear, throat and jaw still keep burning up. I am also taking a PPI.
    You mentioned that a diet for LPR is different, that actually sparks some hope. So are the do’s and don’ts different compared to GERD?

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Kan,
      Yeah a low acid and natural diet is basically essential for helping LPR. When compared with GERD LPR has some important difference and really can not be treated in the exact same way. So even following a typical acid reflux diet for heartburn and GERD may not give you the best healing chance. There dose need to be some adjustments when doing an LPR diet to get the best effect.

  18. Avatar for Gerasim

    Hi David,

    Is it possible after you are healing from LPR your voice is changed, what’s your experience? I got healed from lpr, no more symptoms for one week, but my voice is not the same, I speak and get tired easily. Do you had the same experience? thanks

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      I have had a similar experience before yes. Perhaps you are still healing based on what you said. The more small or subtle symptoms may take a little longer to heal.

  19. Avatar for Alexis

    Hi there,

    I can’t seem to get a diagnosis. Doctors are either telling me it’s asthma (as I do test for having a mild obstruction during spirometery – though inhalers have never helped) or saying it’s anxiety. Well I’ve tried their inhalers and they do nothing. And anxiety is only becoming an issue because of the symptoms. Not the other way around. I’ve had so many tests and they all have come back normal. I’ve had serval scopes. One by an ent. One by a voice box specialist. I had a gastroscopy. I’ve had the 24 hr ph monitor and the manometry. Everything is normal according to them.

    I’m almost 20 months in with my symptoms that have been slowly… but steadily getting worse. I haven’t had a single day without them. I cannot connect them to eating. They always become worse as the day goes on, regardless of what or when I eat. They are worse when I lie down as well.

    Primarily, my symptom has been breathing problems. At first it just felt like I was breathing something other than air. It wasn’t painful or really even uncomfortable, I was just very aware of it. Just felt like I was exhaling some sort of gas. Several months later I started getting a sore throat and post nasal drip. I have a persistent sore throat 24/7. Post nasal drip comes and goes. I cough when I take a deep breath but not really otherwise. My breathing has gotten much worse. It’s painful. And I’ve started getting a fair amount of chest pain too. I don’t have heart burn. I don’t taste bitterness. I don’t smoke. I exercise more than most. Im not over weight. I don’t drink alcohol. So I don’t fit the mold for doctors. But I keep coming back to thinking maybe it’s LPR. I tried basically following that doctors low acid food plan. I did it for a month without even a little bit of reprieve. Everything suggested I should at least see a small amount of improvement after a month. I live in Canada and it’s basically impossible to find alkaline water. I’ve looked at every store. The only thing I can find is this Flow water. And I can’t afford to be drinking that like she wants. But I kept to her diet otherwise.

    I’m just at a loss if this is even what I have. No doctor thinks it’s reflux, but I know they’re wrong about what they have suggested. So my trust in them is minimal. I struggled to eat enough on the low acid diet because my job just does not allow for frequent eating. So if I’m going to stick to that diet for 6 months or more… I want to be sure that it’s because I actually have LPR and I’m not just doing some crazy diet for no reason.

    Thoughts? Is this LPR? How can I get a definitive diagnosis?? I can’t live like this anymore and I am prone to depression. It’s really wearing on me.

    Thanks for any help!

    1. Avatar for David Gray

      Hi Alexis,
      The breathing issue of course can be related to LPR. Of course stopping the acid coming up by changing your diet is important and in terms of meds Gaviscon advance (UK) or reflux gourmet after meals are important.

      There is no real gold standard for detecting LPR, actually the RSI test based on symptoms is arguably the best way to know. Here is the test on my site – reflux symptom index test.

      If you have the breathing issues spraying the throat and nose after eating (before you take them meds I suggested will help) with an alkaline solution. Here is a video explaining how to do it – alkaline spray.

  20. Avatar for Demi

    Hello,

    Is someone able to help me?? For the past 2 weeks now I’ve been suffering from acid reflux badly in my throat. I am taking prescribed tablets from my doctors and drinking gaviscon and nothing is taking away this feeling of something stuck in my throat? It’s here all day constantly. Driving me absolutely crazy ☹️

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