FROM OUR EXPERTS
Recently there have been a lot of questions posted about the “less common” symptoms of reflux such as chronic cough. It seems as though when people think of reflux they think of the symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, gas and chest pain. But, there are a lot of other symptoms that we don’t think of as reflux and chronic cough is one of them.
Why does reflux cause a chronic cough? The research has shown that when the acid comes up in the throat the esophagus can become inflamed. For some, that inflammation is going to show as pain/heartburn but for others, the body is going to respond to the irritation with a cough. The body doesn’t know what is causing the irritation and it goes about trying to rid itself of this irritation.
Another possibility is that in addition to the irritation in the esophagus, throat and nasal passages, the sinuses can also become inflamed. When this happens, the sinuses may react by producing mucous. The mucous can then ...
Dr. I have throat pain, hoarseness and an earache that won't go away. I do suffer from heartburn. Can the throat and ear pain be a result of GERD?
While it is not uncommon for gastroesophageal reflux disease to cause sore throat and hoarseness as well as ear pain and even ear infections, other more serious conditions need to be excluded. You can try maximizing treatment of acid reflux with twice a day proton pump inhibitors. If your symptoms resolve completely, then it is likely a result of gastroesophageal reflux. If however, they persist, then evaluation with an ear nose and throat physician to rule out throat cancer is recommended.
I have been taking Aciphex for acid reflux and have developed severe headaches. Can I try other proton pump inhibitors?
All of the proton pump inhibitors (Aciphex, Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium, Prilosec, Zegerid and Omeprazole) have about a 5% incidence of causing headaches. If one of the drugs causes headaches, it doesn't mean that th...
Chronic cough, defined as a cough that lasts for more than eight weeks, affects about one in five people. Some studies that suggest there is a relationship between acid reflux and chronic cough. When patients who had a chronic cough were studied, it was clear that sometimes, acid reflux episodes increased their coughing (Kahrilas et al., 2013). While this research shows that chronic coughing may be related to reflux, there can be many different reasons (not just acid reflux) why someone would have a chronic cough.
Diagnosing a Reflux Related Chronic Cough
Coughing is an automatic reflex of the respiratory tract that your body uses to clear your upper airways. Besides acid reflux, a chronic cough could be caused by exposure to cigarette smoke, environmental pollution, asthma, bronchitis, or allergies just to name a few. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is one of the most common causes of chronic cough (Irwin, 2006).
Understanding the connection of coughing to reflux...
You should know
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