What Is Esophageal Reflux?
Reflux means a backward or return flow. Specifically esophageal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when your stomach contens come back up into your esophagus (see picture below). Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a long-lasting and more serious form of GER. Most people with GERD can manage the discomfort by changing their lifestyle and taking over-the-counter medications.
Signs and symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of GERD include:
- A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
If you have nighttime acid reflux, you might also experience:
- Chronic cough
- New or worsening asthma
- Disrupted sleep