Almost everyone knows what heartburn and acid reflux feels like, but silent acid reflux is a lot less known as a disease and it can easily be interpreted as something completely different. This is because silent reflux disease presents symptoms that are not so common and definitely not what the average person would describe as heartburn or acid reflux.
If you're experiencing strange symptoms related to your throat or breathing, which get worse after a meal, you may want to look over these indicative silent reflux symptoms.
Silent reflux disease occurs when stomach juices come up the esophagus into the back of the throat. This reflux leads to inflammation in the throat and directly impacts the vocal cords, which can cause hoarseness.
2. Constant Clearing Of Throat
Silent acid reflux can really make it feel like you always have to clear your throat due to the buildup of mucus. When the throat becomes inflamed, the body responds by coating it in extra mucus to protect it.
3. Constant Irritated Throat
If you’re suffering from silent acid reflux, your throat may become inflamed due to the “coming up” of stomach juices, which may be surprising since it’s likely that you are not experiencing any heartburn. If your throat is inflamed then it’s probably also leading to irritation.
4. A chronic Cough
With throat inflammation, irritation, and mucus buildup, the next silent reflux symptom that usually results is a chronic cough. If you’re suffering from silent reflux disease, your throat is going through a lot so having to cough even though you are otherwise healthy is a common symptom.
5. A Lump In The Throat
People with silent reflux disease may get the feeling that they have a lump in their throat as if they haven’t swallowed correctly. This is because silent reflux can irritate the valve between the esophagus and the throat, making it very tense which is what causes the lump-like feeling.
6. Shortness Of Breath
Another strange symptom of silent reflux disease is experiencing shortness of breath. This could be because of the damage it inflicts upon the esophagus and throat, but also because silent reflux directly impacts the lungs as well as the throat.
7. Post-Nasal Drip
This symptom of silent reflux usually results from a buildup of mucus. If silent acid reflux is making your throat inflamed, then it’s likely that it will lead to the mucus dripping back down the throat. This is what’s called a post nasal drip.
8. Ear Infections
This may be the strangest symptom of silent reflux and it’s not as common as the others but it is seen, particularly in children. Silent reflux may cause ear infections by sending gaseous reflux into the eustachian tube, which connects the ears to the airways. The reflux can cause inflammation to develop in the ears and lead to an infection. Children's eustachian tube aren’t fully developed so they are more prone to this.
Silent acid reflux can be a very tricky disease to diagnose and it’s possible to be mistaken for asthma, allergies, or even a common cold. Typically, if the symptom persists, or if it worsens after a meal, then it is a good indicator that you may be suffering from silent reflux disease. To learn more about silent reflux disease, or to book an appointment for a consultation with a reflux doctor, contact us today or book an appointment.