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Can Acid Reflux Cause a Sore Throat?

If you have been experiencing sore throat along with acid reflux, it is possible that these two are linked. Often people suffering from acid reflux complain of a sore throat. This is usually caused by an inflammation of the esophagus, largely as a result of the acid reflux. It is important to note that such situations warrant immediate medical attention.

sore throat caused by acid reflux
The reason acid reflux causes sore throat 

Acid reflux, as mentioned earlier, is defined as the traveling back of the acidic juices from the stomach into the esophagus and sometimes right up to the lungs and mouth. It is important to note the stomach and the esophagus are separated by a lower esophageal sphincter, which closes when food enters the stomach from the esophagus. When the sphincter closes properly, the food and the digestive juices remain within the stomach and move onto the intestine for further breakdown.

However, where the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, it allows the juices from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. These juices from the stomach contain high quantities of digestive acids, which make it acidic in nature. As the acidic fluid moves through the throat, it causes inflammation of the throat lining. Inflammation of the throat lining leads to sore throat, which incidentally is one of the important symptoms of acid reflux. What makes this sore throat more dangerous is the fact that it does not go away, despite several medications as well as treatment to cure it, and often lasts for a long period of time. 

Symptoms of sore throat caused by acid reflux 

Common symptoms that accompany sore throat caused by acid reflux include hoarseness, irritation in the throat, constant need to clear your throat, chronic cough, feeling the presence of a lump in the throat, a bad taste that is consistent, and lastly, symptoms similar to asthma. It is important to note that most patients of sore throat usually exhibit one or more of these symptoms. Often, patients also experience pain in the throat due to the soreness. 

Home remedies to treat sore throat 

When the soreness is mild and detected early, you can cure it using home remedies. Commonly used home remedies include gargling with warm salt water. Similarly, drinking huge quantities of water also helps reduce the soreness in your throat. Additionally, you could always use humidifiers and vaporizers to reduce the pain and soreness. Similarly, you could either suck on lollipops or chew chewing gums to increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, which acts as the best way to reduce soreness of your throat. In addition, however, it is important to use home remedies to cure the underlying acid reflux problem. Vinegar, ginger, etc., are great for reducing the problem of acid reflux at home. 

Other ways to treat sore throat 

Where home remedies do not work, you should primarily work towards resolving the issue through medicines. There are several over-the-counter drugs that are available to counter both sore throat as well as acid reflux. Antacids are commonly used for mild form of acid reflux. However, if this does not help, you can always opt for proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers, which are excellent for treating damage to the esophagus lining due to acid reflux. In addition, antibiotics can be taken to cure the outward symptoms of sore throat. 

Seek professional medical help 

Seeking professional medical help is advisable in case of serious acid reflux problem. It is important to note that this disease, if untreated, will lead to serious complications, including formation of scar tissue and narrowing of the esophageal sphincter. It could also lead to swelling and inflammation of the esophagus as well as esophageal cancer. In some cases, leaving the disease untreated could also lead to fatality, with the lungs being affected by the acid in the juices. Under these circumstances, it is obvious that sore throat caused by acid reflux should be treated immediately. 

Prevention of this problem 

Experts always believe that prevention is better than cure. In the case of sore throat caused by acid reflux, it is absolutely true. Staying upright as much as possible, especially after eating, is a great way to ensure that the acids and juices remain contained within the stomach and are prevented from moving up the esophagus. Similarly, a healthy diet is always advisable to help prevent acid reflux. 

Whether you choose to prevent its occurrence or merely cure it, it is important to understand and remember that sore throat caused by acid reflux is curable.