It is very common for patients to believe that they do not have reflux disease because they do not experience the symptom commonly referred to as “heartburn”. While having heartburn is a definitive symptom of reflux disease, it certainly is not the ONLY symptom. In fact, individuals who suffer from reflux may not ever experience heartburn. Only about half of individuals with reflux disease experience the symptom of heartburn.
Acid reflux symptoms can range in severity based on the extent of the disease and how long it has gone on uncontrolled. Patients often do not realize that the collection of symptoms they are experiencing is actually caused by poorly controlled acid reflux disease.
- Chronic throat clearing
- Intermittently hoarse voice
- Difficulty swallowing
- Waking up coughing
- Burning and/or sore throat
- Sensation of something stuck in the throat (“Globus sensation”)
- Recurring sinus infections
- Excess phlegm
The good news is that these symptoms can be eliminated or significantly reduced once the reflux disease is properly managed through pharmacological intervention along with modification of some lifestyle behaviors. Often, reflux disease can be adequately controlled through lifestyle modifications alone (dietary changes, weight-loss, smoking cessation, etc).
If you experience some of the symptoms listed above, or experience heartburn regularly, schedule an appointment with Dr. DePasquale as soon as possible to obtain an accurate diagnosis based on your individual symptoms. If left untreated, acid reflux disease can cause severe and irreversable damage to the tissues of your digestive tract, throat, voice box and teeth.
-Amy Michie, MA, CCC/SLP, St. Augustine Ear, Nose & Throat