Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) are chronic forms of what is commonly known as acid reflux. Everyone gets it from time to time. Have you ever had heartburn? That’s likely acid reflux. However, when it becomes chronic and recurring, it could be a serious problem that can cause damage to your insides. Here is an overview of GERD, LPR and the ways which an ENT doctor can help if you suffer acid reflux in Atlanta.
GERD vs. LPR
There are two types of chronic acid reflux disease which can present serious issues to those who suffer them. The first is GERD. In GERD, acid from your stomach backs up into your esophagus, causing a burning sensation in your chest and throat. There is a muscle called the LES in your esophagus that is designed to close off the backup of acid, but in GERD patients, this muscle doesn’t function properly.
The other kind of chronic reflux is LPR, wherein the stomach and digestive tract acids back up all the way past the upper esophageal sphincter into the back of your throat and even into your nasal passages. This is usually accompanied by a bitter taste in the back of your mouth, burning and a sensation of something being stuck in your throat. It can cause symptoms such as hoarseness, coughing, asthma, croup, sleep apnea, and a sensation of postnasal drip among others, depending on the age of the patient and severity of the conditions.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Men, women and children at any stage of life can be stricken with LPR or GERD. The usual causes come from lifestyle issues such as poor nutrition or exercise habits, overeating, tobacco and alcohol use or other bad habits. They can also be caused by physiological conditions such as hernias, abnormal esophageal function, bowel and digestive problems, pregnancy or being overweight.
Repeated ignoring of reflux symptoms can lead to damage to the esophageal tract, throat and sinuses and even more serious complications. In fact, chronic inflammation of the esophageal lining can even lead to cancer if not properly addressed. If you are having symptoms, you should seek treatment.
Treating Acid Reflux in Atlanta
Those who suffer from acid reflux may want to seek treatment by a qualified ear, nose and throat specialist. While usually GERD and LPR are treated by gastroenterologists, issues such as nodules in the larynx, croup, narrowing of the airway passages, difficulty swallowing and sinus infections arising from these conditions.
The ENT doctor can work closely with your gastroenterologist to make sure that your symptoms are properly treated and the condition is addressed and corrected before you encounter serious health issues. This is particularly true in cases of LPR which do the most damage to the throat and sinus passages.
If you are suffer from symptoms of acid reflux in Atlanta, we are here to help. Read over the services we offer, and give us a call to schedule an appointment today!