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Three Reasons to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist for Acid Reflux

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Three Reasons to see an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist for Acid Reflux

Source: Allergy & ENT Associates

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:

  • Heartburn

  • Unexplainable weight loss

  • Bitter-tasting acid backing up into your mouth or throat

  • Vomiting

  • 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, Campbell County Health Medical Group ENT Clinic. Dr. Black attended medical school at the Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency at Oklahoma State University Medical Center. Dr. Black is a Fellow of the American Osteopathic College of Otolaryngology Ophthalmology (FAOCOO) and is board certified in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Black, call 307.688.0110.

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