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Ear, Nose, and Throat

Acid Reflux

In some people, irritating stomach acid juices may leak out of the stomach and into the esophagus and throat. This causes irritations and muscle spasms in the throat due to the “Mucosal acid burn.” Over 50% of patients with ear, nose and throat symptoms from stomach acid have no indigestion.

Some of the symptoms that people have include:

  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness
  • Throat clearing
  • Excess mucous
  • Lump in the throat
  • Bad breath
  • Ear pain
  • Worsening asthma
  • Phlegm
  • Recurrent bronchial, sinus & ear infections

Acid Reflux most commonly occurs when you are asleep, when the valve between your stomach and esophagus (swallowing tube) is relaxed. Predisposing factors include Hiatal hernia, Diabetes or Peptic Ulcer Disease. When Acid Reflux occurs, it may wake you up causing a coughing spasm.

The following instructions are designed to help neutralize the stomach acids, reduce the production of acid, and prevent acid from coming up the esophagus. You should use as many of the following suggestions as needed to obtain relief.

  1. Take one tablespoon of an antacid in liquid form (Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Tums) after breakfast and before bedtime.
  2. Do not eat 3 or 4 hours before bedtime (liquids are OK)
  3. Sleep with the head of the bed elevated. Place cinder blocks, wood or bricks under the legs of the bed to achieve this
  4. Alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are stomach irritants and should be avoided.
  5. Diet modification is helpful, change to a low-fat, high-fiber diet, (avoid large quantities). Eat more often with smaller quantities. Timing and Quantity.
  6. If you are overweight, lose weight.
  7. Avoid tightly fitting clothes. Avoid bending, stooping and straining.
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