After you eat, a valve in your esophagus—the sphincter—closes to prevent hydrochloric acid (produced in the digestive process) from coming back up into the esophagus (known as refluxing). When the sphincter fails to close correctly, however, acid reflux occurs and the stomach contents flow back into the throat and esophagus. Acid reflux can damage the esophageal lining and cause many uncomfortable and painful symptoms.
Here are three reasons to seek an ENT specialist for acid reflux.
Acid Reflux Can Show Up as a Sore Throat or Cough
Acid reflux has many symptoms, including:
- Unexplainable weight loss
- Bitter-tasting acid backing up into your mouth or throat
- Chest pain
However, acid reflux can also pass as a severe sore throat or cough and cause trouble with swallowing or hoarseness. This form of acid reflux is referred to as “silent reflux” because one doesn’t experience the usual symptoms. An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist can examine the throat for swelling and redness to determine if acid reflux is the cause of your throat irritation.
ENT Specialists Can Treat Complications Associated With GERD and LPR
ENT specialists can evaluate, diagnose, and treat people experiencing acid reflux–related symptoms. If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, have chest pains after eating, experience frequent nausea, or have trouble swallowing, it’s best to see an ENT specialist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis.
An ENT doctor can also treat complications associated with acid reflux, such as:
- Sinus and ear infections
- Throat and laryngeal inflammation
- Ulcerations of the esophagus
ENT Specialists Can Indicate if There’s a Larger Issue
Untreated GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can alter your esophageal lining, which can lead to cancer. If you leave persistent acid reflux untreated, it can lead to other significant medical problems, including ulcers, esophagitis, fluid in the sinuses and middle ear, and inflammation and infection of the lungs. It’s best to see an ENT specialist as soon as you experience frequent acid reflux symptoms to ensure there are no other significant issues. If there are, the doctor can at least catch it early.
Many factors, such as eating too quickly or drinking too much alcohol, can lead to acid reflux. If you experience any of these three reasons to seek an ENT specialist for acid reflux, contact your local health-care provider so that they can point you in the right direction for treatment. Our ENT specialists near Houston are happy to discuss your symptoms and provide adequate treatment to lead you toward a healthier life. Book your appointment online for an efficient experience with Allergy & ENT Associates.