Acid reflux cough is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It is characterized by a persistent cough that is caused by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus. The cough is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and hoarseness.
The following are the symptoms of acid reflux cough:
Persistent cough: A cough that lasts for more than two weeks is considered persistent and is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux cough. The cough is usually dry and hacking, but can also be wet and accompanied by mucus.
Heartburn: Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest that is caused by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus. This can lead to a persistent cough.
Difficulty swallowing: Some people with acid reflux cough may experience difficulty swallowing food and liquids, which can lead to choking.
Hoarseness: A persistent cough can cause hoarseness, which is a change in the sound of the voice. This is because the coughing irritates the larynx, causing it to become inflamed.
Chest pain: Chest pain can be a symptom of acid reflux cough. The pain may be felt in the center or left side of the chest and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, sweating, and dizziness.
The following are the treatments for acid reflux cough:
Lifestyle changes: Making changes to your lifestyle can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux cough. This may include avoiding foods and drinks that trigger your symptoms, losing weight, and avoiding lying down after eating.
Medications: Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, can help neutralize the acid in the stomach and reduce the symptoms of acid reflux cough. Prescription medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can also be used to reduce the production of stomach acid.
Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to correct the underlying problem that is causing the acid reflux cough. This may include a procedure to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter or to remove a portion of the stomach.
Elevating the head of the bed: Elevating the head of the bed can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux cough by keeping stomach acid from flowing into the esophagus. This can be achieved by using extra pillows or a wedge-shaped pillow.
Avoiding tight clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on the stomach and esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux cough. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can help reduce the symptoms.
In conclusion, acid reflux cough is a common condition that is characterized by a persistent cough and other symptoms, such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and hoarseness. The condition can be treated with lifestyle changes, medications, surgery, elevating the head of the bed, and avoiding tight clothing. If you are experiencing symptoms of acid reflux cough, it is important to speak with a doctor to determine the best course of treatment.