In infants, the muscular valves at the end of the food pipe are not fully developed. These valves keep the contents of the stomach from flowing back into, and through, the food pipe. This explains why it is common for infants to spit up, especially after they have been fed and their stomachs are full.
Adults often have a cold or the flu before they develop LPR. These conditions may make the vocal cords more sensitive to stomach acid.
Certain physical characteristics may make some individuals more likely to develop LPR, including those who have:
- Problems with the lower food pipe valve
- A low-emptying stomach
- A hiatal hernia
- Problems with food pipe contractions
Individuals who use their voices a lot, such as teachers and singers, may also be more at risk from the condition