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BioMed Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3918214, 10 pages
Research Article

Quantifying Laryngopharyngeal Reflux in Singers: Perceptual and Objective Findings

1University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, 1121 NW 14th Street, 3rd Floor, Miami, FL 33136, USA
2Ear, Nose, Throat and Plastic Surgery Associates, University of Central Florida, HPA II-101, 4364 Scorpius Drive, Orlando, FL 32816-2215, USA
3Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Florida, P.O. Box 100225, 1600 SW Archer Rd., Gainesville, FL 32610-0225, USA
4Ear, Nose, Throat, and Plastic Surgery Associates, 44 W. Michigan St., Orlando, FL 32806, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Adam T. Lloyd

Received 29 March 2017; Revised 26 July 2017; Accepted 14 August 2017; Published 19 September 2017

Academic Editor: Joanna Domagala-Kulawik

Copyright © 2017 Adam T. Lloyd et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study examines the relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) symptoms and oropharyngeal pH levels in singers. We hypothesized that reported symptoms would correlate with objective measures of pH levels from the oropharynx, including the number and total duration of reflux episodes. Twenty professional/semiprofessional singers completed the Reflux Symptom Index (RSI) and underwent oropharyngeal pH monitoring. Mild, moderate, or severe pH exposure was recorded during oropharyngeal pH monitoring. Correlations were performed to examine potential relationships between reflux symptoms and duration of LPR episodes. Symptom severity did not correlate with pH levels; however, we found a number of covariances of interest. Large sample sizes are necessary to determine if true correlations exist. Our results suggest that singers may exhibit enhanced sensitivity to LPR and may therefore manifest symptoms, even in response to subtle changes in pH. This study emphasizes the importance of sensitive and objective measures of reflux severity as well as consideration of the cumulative time of reflux exposure in addition to the number of reflux episodes.