Acid reflux is a disorder whereby the sphincter at the top of the stomach cannot effectively stop stomach acid from re-entering the oesophagus. The oesophagus is a tube that connects the throat with the stomach. Consequently, your throat becomes sore and you develop a cough. You may mistake your acid reflux symptoms for a common cold or the flu. However, acid reflux symptoms do not go away even though you may take cold treatments.
In some cases, the acid reflux symptom of a sore throat can cause you to lose your voice completely. In addition you may experience a burning sensation in the oesophagus as food passes along it, as well as stomach pains and upsets. In severe cases the stomach acid can travel far enough up the oesophagus so that it reaches the junction that leads to the lungs. This can then result in small amounts of acid entering the lungs; thus resulting in coughs and general irritation.
When the throat becomes affected, your voice will start to change. If left to persist, it can cause shortness of breath and permanent damage to the vocal chords. Changes in the voice can be detected via a loss of volume, a deepening of the tone or hoarseness. This is potentially a very serious acid reflux symptom. You can lose your voice permanently if you do not take treatment action.
In addition to the throat and the vocal chords the lungs and trachea (the tubes leading to the lungs) can also become damaged. The trachea is lined with millions of tiny hair-like structures that trap particles of dust and food before they reach the lungs. Acid unfortunately kills these tiny hairs so that the lungs become vulnerable to infections, which are also a common acid reflux symptom in severe cases.
Generally, treating acid reflux early enough is possible. In fact, making some simple changes to your diet have profound effects. You can best avoid foods that are acidic in nature. Find out from your doctor what you can eat or cannot eat. The objective is to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Foods that stimulate the stomach are deemed to be bad if you have any acid reflux symptom. You are also advised to abstain from alcoholic drinks.
In long-term cases your throat and vocal chords can become so damaged that your doctor may recommend surgery. Small polyps are a common acid reflux symptom. They continue to grow until they begin to affect the ability to swallow, and can become cancerous eventually.
Although it appears that there is no cure for acid reflux, you can possibly treat it with a sensible diet and appropriate medications. Should you observe that you are experiencing acid reflux symptoms and that your voice is increasingly hoarse, then you should seek medical attention rightaway. Remember if you hesitate too long to take action, you risk losing your voice completely for good.