Acid reflux is an extremely common problem for Americans and is often associated with heartburn, regurgitation, and other stomach discomforts, such as bloating or upper abdominal pain. One of the lesser known symptoms of this condition is acid reflux coughing or throat clearing. All acid reflux symptoms are caused by the same problem: the leaking of stomach contents into the esophagus. While common, acid reflux is not usually considered dangerous unless it is severe and left untreated. This is unlikely unless a diagnosis is difficult to obtain, which is often the case with a reflux associated cough.
Fortunately, acid reflux coughing responds favorably to traditional reflux treatment. It is recommended that some dietary and lifestyle changes are made. Certain foods increase the frequency and severity of reflux symptoms including highly acidic foods (such as citrus fruits and tomato products), high-fat foods, fried foods, spicy foods, and chocolate. Caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco use can also aggravate this condition. In addition, overeating and eating too quickly can also make reflux symptoms worse.
In order to treat reflux, over-the-counter or prescription antacids are often recommended. It is important no to rely on these too frequently, as long-term use can actually disturb the natural balance of stomach acids and make reflux worse. Other prescription medications are available to treat reflux and help with damage caused to the esophagus. In rare cases, diet, lifestyle changes, and medications do not seem to help with reflux. In these cases, minimally invasive reflux surgery may be an option.