Gastroesophogeal Esophogeal Reflux Disease (GERD) us a condition in which stomach acid or contents flow back (reflux) from the stomach and into the esophagus. This condition can occur at any age from infants to older adults however people with asthma are at higher risks of developing GERD. During an asthma exacerbation the sphincter that holds the stomach contents in the stomach relaxes and allows reflux to occur. Acid reflux may also worsen asthma symptoms by causing airway and lung irritation.
Over time this can lead to more severe asthma. Patients may be more sensitive to environmental conditions such as smoke or cold as well because of GERD. GERD commonly causes symptoms such as a burning in the mouth and throat, burping/regurgitation, and pain with swallowing however it also frequently causes symptoms such as recurrent or chronic cough, chest pain and vocal hoarseness/laryngitis. Therefore, it is important to have a thorough evaluation done if you are experiencing these symptoms. There are many lifestyle changes and medications that are used to treat GERD.