Advanced ENT has been treating patients with Gastroesphageal Reflux (GERD) (more commonly know as acid reflux) for many years.
We manage laryngopharyngeal reflux as it often causes throat symptoms, however patients should seek evaluation by their primary care physician if they are experiencing other symptoms of GERD, such as chest pain. Chest pain may indicate acid reflux, but this kind of pain or discomfort demands urgent medical attention. Possible heart conditions must always be excluded first.
Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Normally, food travels from the mouth, down through the esophagus and into the stomach. A ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter, contracts to keep the acidic contents of the stomach from refluxing or coming back up into the esophagus. In those who have GERD, the LES does not close properly, allowing acid to move up the esophagus.
When stomach acid touches the sensitive tissue lining the esophagus, it causes a reaction similar to squirting lemon juice in your eye. This is why GERD is often characterized by the burning sensation known as heartburn. Occasional heartburn is normal. However, if heartburn becomes chronic, occurring more than twice a week, you may have GERD. Left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious health problems such as ulcers and strictures of the esophagus (esophagitis), cough, asthma, throat and laryngeal inflammation, inflammation and infection of the lungs, and collection of fluid in the sinuses and middle ear.
If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, frequent chest pains after eating, trouble swallowing, persistent nausea, and cough or sore throat unrelated to illness, you may have GERD. The physicians at Advanced ENT manage GERD symptoms related to the throat and swallowing, however, patients should seek evaluation by their primary care physician if they are experiencing chest pain, as this kind of pain or discomfort demands urgent medical attention. Possible heart conditions must always be excluded first.