Sore throat, acid reflux: Causes and treatment

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Acid reflux happens when stomach acids travel back up into the food pipe, or esophagus, irritating its lining. This irritation can lead to a sore throat, a dry cough, and wheezing.
It can also cause heartburn, a bitter taste in the mouth, regurgitation, indigestion, and difficulty swallowing. Acid reflux is a common condition. A person may notice it when they are lying down or bending over, or after eating a big meal or spicy food.
Heartburn is the most common symptom associated with acid reflux, but about 20 to 60 percent of people develop head and neck symptoms without any heartburn. Heartburn is a very common symptom created by acid reflux, a condition where stomach acid is forced back into the food pipe. The most common of these symptoms is a lump in the throat.
However, head and neck symptoms related to acid reflux can be misleading. For instance, chronic sore throat caused by acid reflux is sometimes misdiagnosed as recurrent or chronic tonsillitis. When gastric acid comes into contact with the vocal cords, it can cause significant inflammation. If this occurs repeatedly, it can result in hoarseness, frequent throat clearing, coughing, or the sensation that something is stuck in the throat.
These symptoms are sometimes referred to as laryngeal pharyngeal reflux (LPR). Scientific opinion is divided as to whether LPR is a symptom of acid reflux or whether it is a separate medical problem. LPR often seems to begin as an upper respiratory illness with symptoms that may linger as a result of the damaged vocal cords becoming irritated by even a small amount of acid reflux.
Singers, teachers, and people who have to use their voice extensively on a daily basis may experience more severe symptoms of sore throat caused by acid reflux. How to treat a sore throat caused by acid reflux
Over-the-counter and prescription medicines can neutralize or reduce stomach acids, which relieves the symptoms of sore throat. Other medications may work by strengthening the muscles that separate the food pipe from the stomach. Strengthening these muscles will help prevent acids from travelling back up into the food pipe. The discomfort caused by acid reflux is usually manageable, but if the symptoms interfere with daily life, then stronger medications or surgery might be required. Anyone who feels that they have indigestion but also chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in the arm or jaw should seek immediate medical attention. These may indicate a heart attack.

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