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Hi there,

Acid Reflux may be causing the coughing - there is a variant of acid reflux disease called LPR, laryngopharyngeal reflux. What this means is that some acid escapes the stomach, gets into the esophogous, then even gets out of the esophogous into your throat. Since you're in high school, you're probably taking chemistry - so you know the pH scale? Well, the hydrochloric acid in your stomach (HCL) has a pH of 2 - that is really really really acidic, and while the stomach has it's own protections, the throat has none. Luckily, LPR can usually be treated, but you have follow my directions.

1. First do online research on "LPR", "laryngopharyngeal reflux", "laryngeal pharyngeal reflux" and "atypical reflux". It goes by different names.

2. Once you've familiarized yourself with this problem, print out the best articles on it. Make an appointment with a good otolaryngologist (that's an "ENT" or Ear Nose and Throat doctor". The ENTs who are most familiar with LPR work in major cities that have large numbers of professional vocalists, because LPR strikes singers in very high numbers. Remember Ashlee SImpson's flub on Saturday Night Live? She has LPR too. One good way to find a doctor familiar with LPR is to ****** "voice disorders" and the name of the city closest to you. A local doctor might be able to recognize LPR, but many of them haven't seen it.

3. At the appointment, the ENT will scope you and observe your larynx. Typically, if red and swollen and raw, it's evidence of acid damage. Now here is the important part - the doctor will prescribe a medication called a "Proton Pump Inhibitor" (PPI). PPIs are pills that reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. This in turn, means that less acid can escape your stomach and get into your throat. It's not a cure, but it's a very effective treatment and PPIs are for the most part, very safe. There are about 5 or 6 major brands of PPIs out there. The key thing is finding out which brand works for you and taking the appropriate dose.

Dosage is critical. Most local yokal docs will start you off on 1 dose of a PPI per day, but this is inadequate at treating LPR. LPR requires 2 time PPI dosing each day. When you take the PPIs is also important - taking one at night and one in the morning doesn't work for a lot of people, but taking both pills together tends to work for those people.

The brand the doctor prescribes is also critical. I've been active on the Acid Reflux message board for over 2 years, and it's well documented there that Nexium and Aciphex tend to work the best for LPR.

Based on that board's feedback, I'd summarize the list of PPIs in order of effectiveness as:

1. Nexium
2. Aciphex
3. Prevacid
4. Zegrid
5, Prilosec BRAND (By Prescription)
6. Protonix
7. Prilosec OTC (the only non-prescription PPI).

You may notice there is a non-prescription PPI on the list. Don't bother sith it, Prilosec OTC is not even manufactured by the makers of Prilosec brand. It doesn't work for anyone with LPR and isn't even worth trying. In fact, it's typically made LPR suffererers' symptoms even worse.

So go to the acid reflux message board here, do some of your own research on this condition, make an appointment with an ENT, and demand a prescription for a double-dose of Nexium or Aciphex.

For many people with even severe LPR, being on a double dose of PPI for 6 months to a few years can even lead to getting off the PPI one day. Acid reflux is considered a permanent condition, but it's also cyclical and random. Certain things can make it worse or spur on an extra bad attack, for which symptoms can perpetuate for months.

So good luck - I thihnk this will be very helpful.