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What Is Acid Reflux?


What Is Acid Reflux?

Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

How Reflux Affects Your Throat

Do you have to clear your throat or cough often? Are you hoarse? Do you have difficulty swallowing? If you have these or other throat symptoms, you may have acid reflux (when stomach acid washes up and irritates your throat).

Why You Have Throat Symptoms

At both ends of the esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) are the esophageal sphincters. These muscles relax to let food pass, then tighten to keep stomach acid down. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn't tighten enough, acid can reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. This may cause heartburn. If the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) also doesn't work well, acid can travel higher and enter your throat (pharynx). In many cases, this causes throat symptoms.

Discover leading-edge gastroenterology care. Call Digestive Disease Consultants of Orange County at 949.612.9090 or simply use the Request an Appointment form.

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Common Throat Symptoms

  • Frequent need to clear your throat
  • Feeling like you're choking
  • Chronic cough
  • Hoarseness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Sensation of having "a lump in the throat"
  • Sour or acid taste
  • Recurrent sore throat
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