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Taking z-pack for laryngitis and sinus infection. Have low grade fever. History of acid reflux. Remedy?

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ENT Specialist
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Good Morning. I am a 47 year old female. I have severe throat pain for about 3 weeks. The pain is not like a usual sore throat like with Strep. My tracheal area in the front of my neck is swollen. I do have a cough that brings up thick mucus and coughing is very painful in my throat. It is painful to turn my neck and very painful to swallow. I have been to see my doctor for this and I was diagnosed with laryngitis and a sinus infection. I was prescribed a Z pack and finished that on March 12th. I have a low grade temp of 99.5. I am a smoker about 1/4 to 1/2 pack a day. I have had a right thyroidectomy in 2005 and recently had a tympanoplasty in my left ear. I don't have a history of acid reflux but in the last three weeks I have had 3 nights where heartburn kept me up but 2 Tums did help alleviate it. What could be causing this?
Posted Tue, 16 Apr 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 1 hour later

Thank you for your query.

1. Your throat is probably hurting due to an acid reflux. Frequent coughing and having to clear the throat of thick mucus is a sign of acid reflux. The throat usually feels dry and painful, in the absence of any active infection.

2. The swelling in the front of your throat is unusual. Probable causes are a swelling at the site of the hemithyroidectomy and swelling of the remaining left side of the thyroid. Does the swelling move up and down while swallowing?

3. You may get a USG (Ultrasound) of the Neck done if the pain while turning the neck persists.

4. Halitosis (bad breath) may be a result of the coated tongue and sinusitis. Treatment of these will reduce or eliminate the bad breath.

5. You may require long term treatment with anti-reflux medication under medical supervision. You must avoid exposure to tobacco and alcohol.

6. The source of the thick mucus may also be a Post Nasal Drip (PND). Swallowed mucus may increase gastritis and acid reflux. A vicious cycle ensues, which has to be disrupted by medication.

7. The lungs themselves may also be generating this mucus and acidity and gastritis reflexly increases lung secretions.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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