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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:27 AM   #1
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Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

Hi,

I've been experiencing what the doctor seems to think could well be GERD. Before I went to see the doctor I was experiencing occasional heartburn, a lump in the throat and occasionally burping stomach acid into my mouth.

This was up until two week ago, since which time I have been put on PPIs.

Now, these seem to be controlling the heartburn symptoms and the burping up stomach acid.

However, the lump in the throat feeling is still there. It comes and goes generally, some days It's not really noticeable, other times it is quite apparent, particularly at night.

Alongside this symptom I have been experiencing a slightly productive cough (very rarely) and a tickle behind the breastbone (not really enough to greatly affect me, but it's there). I have also experienced a slight twinge of pain radiating between both my ears. Nothing major again, but enough to notice it. I don't know if this is because I have picked up a cold or a bug of some sort, I had notice my glands were slightly up and a tension in my neck, but that seems to have passed.

I was just wondering if the fact I'd spent a while ignoring the symptoms (not too long, 2-3 months of occasional heartburn and the lump in the throat feeling coming and going over the course of about 6 months) would mean that there has been some damage down to the throat which will take a while to heal? Is that why I still feel something of a lump in my throat and there is pain in my ears or could it be something else?

I'm seeing the doctor again soon, but I would really like an idea of what I should ask them to check out in order to ensure it's not being caused by something more serious. I've read that ear pain and a lump in the throat can be caused by a number of things, including (however unlikely, I'm 28, a non-smoker and not really a heavy drinker) throat cancer. I try not to worry, but it's obviously something of a concern.

 
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:19 AM   #2
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

GERD could indeed cause that. And in a young person who's never smoked, throat cancer is extremely unlikely.

As I see it, there are three things that could be going on here.

1) It could be that your throat problems were caused by GERD, and will just take some time to heal.

2) Your throat problem is at least partly caused by something else, such as a virus or allergies.

3) PPIs reduce acid, they don't eliminate it entirely. The throat is much more sensitive to acid than the esophagus, so sometimes throat symptoms continue even after PPIs stop the heartburn. If this is the case, lifestyle measures such as small meals, no food late at night, and elevating the head of the bed may help.

I have bad reflux, and after a recent cold my throat was in really rough shape. My doctor recommended rinsing with a mixture of Listerine and hydrogen peroxide, which worked pretty well.

 
Old 12-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

Hi,
Ears, Nose and Throat are all connected, Hence the medical term ENT.
If one is effected then symptoms can or will occur in the others.

Solofelix.

 
Old 12-28-2011, 04:12 AM   #4
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

The only way to eliminate Acid Reflux long-term is diet change.

The drugs will ultimately lead you to worse and worse acid-reflux over time. Sometime - a doctor will tell you to double your meds when they just don't 'work as well' anymore. Another day, you may have to take meds to force your stomach to empty because of its weakening digestive system, and many other things could happen too.

However, drug therapy while you are changing your diet is a good idea as yes acid reflux can SEVERELY damage your esophagus, vocal cords, throat, and burn and hurt all the way up. The majority of people don't realize that they are having acid reflux as well until they start 'feeling it in their throat.' You don't have as much feeling lower down in your esophagus and probably have been suffering from reflux from your diet for many years.

The cancer as previous poster said is the least likely. Many people experience lump in the throat symptoms. Stress over long periods of time alone can cause you to experience this sensation. Yes get checked up by a doctor regardless...but I encourage you to research much further into acid-reducing medicine before gving your life away to daily drugs that will lead to more daily drugs in your future.

 
Old 01-02-2012, 01:44 PM   #5
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

I'm a little more worried than I was about all this previously now...

Basically over the last few days, I have begun to feel a slight loss of feeling in the left hand side of my face. Nothing hugely bad, but enough to notice it. It feels worst in my cheek and beside me eye. It's not really a "tingling", more a slightly numb sensation.

The lump in my throat feeling seems to have dissipated mostly. I've been trying to check my lymph nodes under my jaw and on my neck but it's pointless because I have no idea what they are supposed to feel like.

I had been booked in to see an ENT pecialist on the 12th January but that appointment has been pushed back till early February. I will be finding out tomorrow if there is any way I can bring this forward.

As far as I can tell, there are no lumps or abnormalities on my neck, so something like Thyroid or Throat cancer seems unlikely. On the other hand, I couldn't tell you if I even had abnormal lumps because, once again, I have no idea what I'm supposed to be feeling or not.

So I'm basically asking, is facial numbness something which could be associated with the after effects of GERD or LPR? It doesn't seem SEVERE, but it's a very odd sensation that has been with me for a few days now.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 06:59 AM   #6
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

Hi,

Dont know if this would relate in any way but I had this sort of sensation
in my cheeks and around my eyes some years ago.
I was told by an ENT specialist that it was caused by my Sinuses getting blocked with mucus.
It was a horrible sensation as I felt like I had lost all feeling in certain areas of my face.
As you described it felt like a numb sensation, it lasted for a long time but finally went away.
Yours may be something else but thats what I was told for mine.

Hope you find an answer and good luck,
Solofelix.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 01:17 PM   #7
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

Thanks. The numb feeling seems to have subsided, as does the pressure in my neck. The lump in the throat feeling came back a bit today whilst I was at work. I'm fairly certain that air-conditioning severely aggravates my airwaves because I've noticed the lump in throat sensation disappearing in the two weeks I've been off work over the Christmas period and generally being at its worst when I'm at work.

I've also read that GERD, GORD and LPR can all cause night-sweats too, which is something I have been experiencing on and off for the last few months. Generally I'm symptom free aside from these though. As far as I can tell my glands in my neck, armpits and throat area aren't up. Now it's just a wait and see I guess. I speak to my doctor tomorrow about bringing the ENT referral forward so fingers crossed I get seen a bit sooner.

6 months ago I was the most confident person in the world in my health, my body never failed me, I was bulking up and really coming into my self, then I developed Ulcerative Colitis, having thought it was Bowel Cancer... now every new symptom with my throat terrifies me, but I generally feel in relatively good health... all things considered.

I'm hoping its nothing more serious than GERD/GORD/LPR... but the mind wanders with the internet at your finger tips.

 
Old 01-03-2012, 05:11 PM   #8
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Re: Can GERD cause damage to throat/ears?

I sometimes experience numbness or weird sensations from muscle spasms. If your neck tenses up when your throat bothers you, that probably could cause headaches or even numbness.

 
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