What Is Acid Reflux?
Do you have to clear your throat or cough often? Are you hoarse? Do you have difficulty swallowing? If you have these or other throat symptoms, you may have acid reflux (when stomach acid washes up and irritates your throat).
Why You Have Throat Symptoms
At both ends of the esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) are the esophageal sphincters. These muscles relax to let food pass, then tighten to keep stomach acid down. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn't tighten enough, acid can reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. This may cause heartburn. If the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) also doesn't work well, acid can travel higher and enter your throat (pharynx). In many cases, this causes throat symptoms.
Common Throat Symptoms
- Frequent need to clear your throat
- Feeling like you're choking
- Chronic cough
- Trouble swallowing
- Sensation of having "a lump in the throat"
- Sour or acid taste
- Recurrent sore throat