Matthew W. Shawl, MD
Facial Plastic Surgeon & Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist located in Union Square, New York, NY
It’s not unusual to experience indigestion every once in a while, especially after overeating. But if you have heartburn more than twice a week, you may have a more chronic type of acid reflux. In addition to affecting your esophagus, acid reflux can also affect your throat and voice box. Board-certified otolaryngologist Matthew W. Shawl, MD, is an ENT specialist in New York City who can determine if your acid reflux is damaging your larynx or pharynx and provide the most appropriate treatment. For a consultation, call the Union Square office in Manhattan or request an appointment online.
Acid Reflux Q & A
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when the acidic contents of your stomach regurgitate up into your esophagus, which is a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If the acidic contents of your stomach spill over into your throat, the condition is referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which may affect your larynx (voice box) and pharynx (throat).
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
While you can suffer from both GERD and LPR at the same time, you may not experience the symptoms from both conditions. Common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Feeling as though you have something stuck in your throat
- Bitter taste in the back of your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Hoarseness in your voice
- Frequent need to clear your throat
- Frequent coughing
- Post-nasal drip
If your larynx is affected, you may also experience difficulty breathing.
If you experience any of these symptoms more than twice a week, you should contact Dr. Shawl for an evaluation. Without proper care, your acid reflux may cause permanent damage to your esophagus and throat, and increase your risk of esophageal or laryngeal cancer.
What can I expect during an evaluation for acid reflux?
You can expect compassionate and comprehensive care from Dr. Shawl when you come in for an evaluation for acid reflux. He practices traditional medicine and puts your health and needs above all else.
During the evaluation, he reviews your symptoms and medical history and evaluates your throat. To confirm or rule out acid reflux, he may request diagnostic testing such as an upper endoscopy, swallowing study, or pH probe.
What are the treatments for acid reflux?
Dr. Shawl develops a personalized treatment plan to help you manage your acid reflux. Initially, he may recommend lifestyle changes, such as:
- Limiting your intake of fatty and spicy foods
- Eating smaller more frequent meals
- Losing weight
- Not eating three hours before you go to bed
- Omitting caffeine and alcohol from your diet
He may also suggest over-the-counter antacids or stomach-acid reducers.
If you fail to get relief from your symptoms with lifestyle changes, he may recommend prescription-strength medication.
In severe cases, Dr. Shawl may recommend surgery to tighten the muscles around the esophagus to prevent acid from refluxing.
Acid reflux can affect both your esophagus and throat. To get expert help for your acid reflux, call Matthew W. Shawl, MD, or request an appointment online today.