Reflux or spitting in newborn babies is a very common phenomenon. But, most of you do not know that babies have silent reflux? Want to learn more about silent reflux? We suggest you read this article to find out about the causes, signs, and various treatment options of silent reflux in infants.
What is Silent Reflux in Infants?
When your infant’s stomach rises over and out from its stomach, it is called silent reflux in infants, entering the pharynx, throat, or voice box. It is likely that the baby’s mouth, nose, ears, sinus, or even lung material reach the baby and this may result in fatal complications.
Silent reflux is not normal because, for a long period of time, the stomach contents that remain in the food pipe which damages the child’s digestive tract or esophagus.
Furthermore, silent reflux is difficult to diagnose because of the absence of noticeable or obvious signs and it can remain undiagnosed in most cases.
Causes Of Silent Reflux in Infants
His underdeveloped digestive system is the most common reason for silent reflux in infants. Babies also spend most of their time resting, making traveling back to and from the esophagus easy for stomach acid and digestive enzymes. However, the problem can be healed as your baby develops and the digestive system matures.
Symptoms Of Silent Reflux in Infants
How do you identify the physical signs of silent reflux in your baby, or what could be the symptoms of silent reflux in your baby? Well, some of the signs that can enable you to develop silent reflux in your child are as follows:
- Your baby may have a chronic cough that is not allowed to go away.
- Your kid might have bad breath all day long.
- Child could breathe noisily.
- Because of pain, your baby may cry continuously. The pain may be due to the damage that the esophagus and the lining of the digestive tract may have sustained.
- Your kid may have hiccups sometimes.
- The voice of your baby could get hoarse. It can happen because of the ceaseless bouts of weeping.
- Because of the discomfort, your baby may not be fed properly.
You can hear the baby make a normal gulping sound.
- Your baby might not be gaining weight.
- Sometimes your baby feeds more frequently to alleviate the pain, which can cause excessive weight gain or obesity.
- It may be difficult for you to feed your kids.
Diagnose Of Silent Reflux in Infants
As discussed above, diagnosing silent reflux in infants can become tricky because there are no obvious symptoms and babies can’t tell what they might suffer from. However, if you identify any of the above symptoms, this may be an indication that your baby may suffer from silent reflux. For the same, you should seek immediate medical assistance. Your doctor will do a comprehensive physical examination of your baby; this will help your doctor determine the course of care that is necessary. Your doctor might also suggest a few of the following methods for diagnosing your baby’s silent reflux:
- pH Monitoring
- Barium Swallow
- Oesophageal Manometry
Complications of Silent Reflux
Some complications that may occur in infants due to recurrent bouts of silent reflux include:
- It can narrow vocal cords for your infant.
- This can cause hoarseness.
- This may lead to symptoms or problems for the long-term airways.
- It can even cause infections in the ears. It can occur due to the defective Eustachian tube.
Treatments Of Silent Reflux
If your baby is suffering from a serious case of silent reflux, your doctor can offer treatment options as follows:
1. Avoid Cow’s Milk
Whether your baby may be suffering from cow’s milk allergy or silent reflux can sometimes get difficult to determine. In the case of cow milk allergy, your pediatrician can advise you to avoid all milk products. In the event your baby is allergic to formula milk, it might be best to give your baby hypoallergenic formula milk.
2. Infant Antacid
An antacid is an effective drug for treating silent reflux in infants. Your doctor may recommend that you combine it with some breast milk, formula milk or water, and then give it to your infant. Your doctor may guide you on the proper dosage according to the age and condition of your baby.
Coping With Your Baby’s Reflux
Constant vomiting or throwing up will tax the mother a bit because she will still have to change the clothes of her infant, her bibs, her clothes, or other items that could get soiling. You don’t need to stress and here we’ll explore some useful tips that will help you cope with your baby’s silent reflux:
- It’s a smart idea to bring a bottle of water and wet wipes to you wherever you go.
- You should dress your baby, which can be easily changed, with comfortable and loose clothing.
- The washable cover can be used for pram, car seat, stroller, etc. for your baby.
- You can put your baby in a washable cover on the bed, sofa, chair, or any place you plan to sit with.
- Whenever you leave the house, you should always carry a few additional clothes for your child. It is also proposed to carry a polybag for soiled clothes.
When to Consult a Doctor
Although silent reflux can be managed at home, we do suggest that you seek immediate health assistance for your baby if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- When your baby doesn’t want to eat, he may take a pacifier.
- If your baby vomits large quantities of his stomach content, especially after feeding.
- If during or post-feeding sessions your baby looks irritable or cranky.
- When the vomit of your infant is greenish, yellowish, or has blood therein.
- If your baby has recurring bouts of sore throats.
- Recurring reflux infections in your baby.
We encourage you to seek medical attention for your child if any of the signs are identified by your doctor.
If your baby is suffering from silent reflux there is no cause for concern. It is very common in infants, and it can easily get cured with proper care or medical intervention.
Also Read: Why Does Baby Cry After Feeding?