Sometimes when you are suffering from acid reflux, or GERD, you experience symptoms that at first appear to be simply a cold or flu. You might develop a cough, your throat may feel sore, and you may lose your voice completely.
When you have a cold, these symptoms generally last for only a few days before disappearing. However, persisting symptoms may be signs of reflux disease. In addition to losing your voice, you may experience stomachaches or headaches, or you might feel a burning sensation when eating foods high in fat, grease and acids. Acid reflux may be the cause of these symptoms and can lead to more critical problems if left untreated.
Reflux disease can cause your throat to become very sore. This pain occurs because stomach acid leaves the stomach and rises to the lungs and the esophagus. The acid can become mixed with saliva and can affect your throat, causing you to lose your voice.
This refluxing of stomach acid can also cause changes to your voice by causing shortness of breath. This reduction in air available for speaking causes your vocal chords to strain because of the extra work it takes to speak. Over time, your vocal chords can become damaged and that will often permanently affect your voice. Your voice may become deeper, or it may become thin, with little volume.
Acid reflux can hurt not only your throat and vocal chords; it can also injure your lungs and other organs–including the heart. There are many ways you can treat your acid reflux. Often, you will have to change your diet in to lessen the symptoms, and the impact, of the condition.
Avoiding highly acidic foods, like citrus fruits, is a good start. You may also have to avoid alcohol–having a glass of wine at most only occasionally. Making these dietary changes results in less acid production and can help your throat to heal.
If you are concerned that acid reflux is the cause of your vocal issues, have your vocal chords looked at by your doctor. When vocal cords are damaged, sometimes growths appear, and surgery may be required to remove them. Tiny polyps form which can make the voice scratchy and hurt when you speaks.
Don’t let more than a couple days of vocal chord pain go by before your see your doctor–don’t wait for the problem to worsen. If you wait too long, surgery may no longer be an option, because of the added damage surgery might cause.
Acid reflux is a common disorder and while it may not be cured, the symptoms you experience can be reduced.
Medications and diet will make a significant difference. Because your voice can be affected it is important to see your doctor if you are experiencing any acid reflux symptoms. Only your doctor will be able to diagnose you and determine the best treatment options.