Acid reflux, also called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, is a condition in which fluids in the stomach flow upward into the esophagus. The rush of fluids into the esophagus often produces a burning sensation in the throat, which is referred to as heartburn. In addition to causing discomfort, chronic acid reflux could lead to other side effects over time. At our Ear, Nose, and Throat practice in Garland, a plan for treating chronic acid reflux can be developed by our board-certified otolaryngologist, Dr. James Maddox.
What can cause acid reflux?
Several factors can contribute to acid reflux, including certain foods and beverages. Foods that can increase the possibility that acid reflux will occur include chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, and dishes prepared with tomato sauce. Acid reflux can also develop as a result of drinking citrus beverages, coffee, or a lot of alcohol.
Some health conditions are also associated with chronic acid reflux. For example, chronic acid reflux is often a problem for many women during pregnancy. Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of developing chronic acid reflux. Smoking regularly can also lead to chronic acid reflux.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Acid reflux is characterized by several symptoms. Heartburn is a common symptom experienced by many individuals with acid reflux. Heartburn is associated with a burning sensation in the chest and throat. The feeling of burning is caused by stomach fluids that have traveled up the esophagus to the mouth, which can lead to a bitter taste in the mouth.
Additional symptoms that can occur in conjunction with acid reflux include belching, regurgitation, bloating, nausea, sore throat, trouble swallowing, dry cough, wheezing, and frequent hiccuping. Some individuals might also experience noticeable weight loss in association with persistent acid reflux. At our office in Garland, we can help you achieve relief from acid reflux symptoms.
What options are available for treating acid reflux?
Several options are available for treating acid reflux. Individuals who only experience minor acid reflux on occasion can usually achieve relief with over-the-counter antacids. However, individuals who struggle with severe or persistent acid reflux can benefit from professional treatment. Professional acid reflux treatments include prescription-strength antacids and the use of a proton pump inhibitor, which reduces acid reflux by blocking the final step of acid production in the stomach. Our otolaryngologist can develop an individualized treatment approach for you.
Relief is available from the symptoms of chronic or severe acid reflux. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Maddox to discuss possible options for treating your acid reflux by calling our office in Garland at (972) 272-5555.