Reflux is common, with up to 20% of the population experiencing regular symptoms. While for many these symptoms are controllable and relatively trivial, for others they can be debilitating. Over one and a half million people each year require long term medication. Symptoms can differ between people.
It commonly causes persistent heartburn (pain behind the breast bone) and regurgitation of fluid and food into the throat and mouth; however, reflux can also manifest itself in various ways and changes from patient to patient. It is increasingly recognised that reflux causes less obvious ‘non-intestinal’ symptoms.
It is important to be able to recognise the symptoms of reflux disease in order to be able to assess the severity of your condition and identify the best treatment for you. We know that the assessment and treatment of reflux is not simple nor straightforward. In fact, it can be complex and difficult which is why we work as a team of multi-disciplinary specialists, working together for the best outcome for you.
Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain - Pressure, burning or tightness in the chest that can radiate to other connecting parts of the body.
- Difficulty swallowing - This can also include constant throat clearing or coughing.
- Regurgitation - Undigested food being cast up through the throat.
- Husky voice - Your tone of voice changing due to irritation in the throat.
- Sore throat - Irritation in the throat causing pain and discomfort.
- Shortness of breath - Difficulty breathing and a tightness in the chest.
- Bad breath - Consistent bad smelling breath despite the cleaning of teeth and general oral hygiene.
- Asthma - A narrowing of the airways which causes wheezing, trouble breathing and coughing fits.
- Tooth decay - The wearing down of the outer layer (enamel) of your teeth.
- Heartburn - A burning sensation in the chest area which worsens after eating and/or in the evening.
- Chronic sinusitis - A condition that interferes with the drainage of mucus which makes breathing through your nose difficult.
- Gum disease - The inflammation of the gums. Gums are red and swollen and cause pain when brushed.
- Recurrent cough - A persistent cough which lasts for a prolonged period of time.