If persistent burning in your throat, especially after meals, is interfering with your life, you may have a condition known as acid reflux. At his Brooklyn practice in New York City, board-certified gastroenterologist Vincent Rovito, MD, FACP, offers comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux to alleviate your discomfort and prevent additional medical issues from developing. If over-the-counter medications aren’t helping your acid reflux symptoms, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rovito online or by phone today.
Acid reflux occurs when your stomach contents back up in your esophagus, the tube that carries foods from your mouth to your stomach, causing a persistent burning sensation in your throat.
In the lower part of your esophagus, there’s a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter that tightens up to prevent food and acid from backing up into your esophagus after you eat. When this muscle doesn’t function properly, it may not close all the way, allowing acid and other materials to flow back through.
You may also develop acid reflux due to a hiatal hernia, a condition where the weakened diaphragm muscles allow your stomach to slip into your chest.
In addition to the persistent burning sensation in your throat, other common symptoms of acid reflux include:
Due to the acid in your throat, you may also experience a bad taste in your mouth. This acid can gradually damage your teeth and ultimately lead to dental disease.
To confirm you have acid reflux and to rule out underlying medical conditions, Dr. Rovito may request an endoscopy. This procedure involves a small, flexible tube Dr. Rovito inserts into your esophagus that travels into your stomach and small intestine.
The tube has an attached camera that transmits real-time images on Dr. Rovito’s external monitor. He can detect damage to the lining of your esophagus and identify other abnormalities that may be causing your acid reflux.
Dr. Rovito may initially recommend lifestyle changes that include losing weight and improving your physical activity level. If you’re a smoker, Dr. Rovito can provide you with resources to help you quit.
To reduce the content of acid in your stomach, Dr. Rovito may recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications that you take before meals.
If your acid reflux symptoms are moderate to severe, you may need to use a proton pump inhibitor, a medication that can reduce your symptoms and prevent damage to your esophagus. Popular brand medications include Prilosec® and Prevacid®. Dr. Rovito may also recommend surgical treatment to repair the esophageal sphincter or a hiatal hernia.
To learn more about your options for treating acid reflux, schedule a consultation online or by calling Dr. Rovito’s office today.