Acid Reflux (GERD)
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid goes up into the esophagus. Acid reflux is commonly called gastroesphageal reflux disease or GERD. It can cause heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms. Reflux occurs if the muscles where the esophagus meets the stomach do not close tightly enough.
A hiatal hernia occurs when the natural opening in your diaphragm is too large. Your diaphragm is the muscle and tissue layer between your chest and belly. Your stomach may bulge through this large hole into your chest. This bulging is called a hiatal hernia. It may make GERD symptoms worse.
The most common symptoms associated with acid reflux are the following:
- frequent cough or clearing of the throat
- the sensation of having a lump in your throat
- loss of voice
- sour taste in mouth
- frequent belching
- frequent use of antacids
- choking sensation especially at night
- trouble swallowing
- frequent sore throats
Acid reflux is not usually life-threatening, but if left untreated, can have serious consequences including esophageal cancer. If you suspect you or a family member may be suffering from acid reflux, contact Yankton Ear, Nose & Throat today to make an appointment.