Acid Reflux & GERD
Experiencing a burning sensation in your chest or a bitter taste in your mouth? Acid reflux might be the culprit. When these symptoms become frequent, they point towards a more serious condition known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). At ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center, we provide expert care for patients suffering from these conditions.
Defining Acid Reflux & GERD
Acid reflux, commonly referred to as heartburn, is a condition where stomach acid travels back into the esophagus. This acid is potent as its primary function is to break down our food during digestion. When it moves beyond the stomach, it can cause discomfort, pain, and other unsettling symptoms. If such occurrences are frequent, i.e., more than twice a week, it might indicate GERD.
What Leads to Acid Reflux and GERD?
Understanding the cause can be the key to managing and treating the symptoms. Acid reflux usually arises when the valve separating the esophagus from the stomach malfunctions. It might relax at inappropriate times or remain open too long after food intake, resulting in acid travel. Esophagus and throat tissues, unlike the stomach, don’t have protective mucus, making them susceptible to acid damage.
- Common triggers include:
- Stress and anxiety
- Consuming spicy foods
- Certain medications
- Presence of hiatal hernias
Identifying Symptoms of GERD
GERD often manifests itself as a persistent burning sensation in the chest region. This sensation can be so intense that many mistake it for a heart attack. Typical symptoms of acid reflux last up to two hours and might include:
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Respiratory issues
- Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
Diagnosis & Expert Evaluation
While acid reflux might seem trivial, frequent and troubling symptoms warrant a thorough examination. Dr. Samadi at ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center conducts a comprehensive assessment and can provide referrals to specialists if needed. Certain tests, like endoscopies or esophageal manometry, are performed by a gastroenterologist. It is crucial to seek timely medical attention to prevent potential complications.
Effective Treatments for Acid Reflux & GERD
Most GERD cases can be managed with some lifestyle adjustments and non-invasive treatments. Severe instances might require surgical intervention. Here’s what can help:
- Lifestyle changes: Quitting smoking, losing weight, and avoiding triggering foods.
- Medication: Over-the-counter antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and H2 blockers can help manage symptoms. Consult us for specific recommendations.
If you or someone you know experiences the distressing symptoms of acid reflux or GERD, don’t hesitate. Reach out to ENT, Sinus & Hearing Care Center and get the expert care you deserve.