Acid Reflux and Sinus Infection
Acid reflux is known to be a cause of sinus infection.
Early treatment of acid reflux disease could help eliminate sinus infection.
The stomach is divided into three parts: fundus, body and pylorus. The fundus is the upper
portion that arches upward and away from the opening to the esophagus. This opening is controlled by a circular
band of muscle fibers called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which can open and close when the required.
The LES closes to keep the contents in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus and opens
to allow food to pass from the esophagus into the stomach. The body of the stomach is between the fundus and the
lower portion, the pylorus. Another sphincter, called the pyloric, guards the opening between the stomach and the
The failure of these sphincters to open and close at the appropriate time is the cause of many
gastro-intestinal symptoms and disorders.
What is Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Acid reflux or GERD is a medical term which describes the process in which acid from the stomach
refluxes up into the esophagus. The resultant inflammation of the soft tissues in the esophagus, which are not
developed to withstand the caustic effect of the stomach acid, is called esophagitis.
Acute esophagitis can also be caused by taking medications such as non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). Ibuprofen is a commonly prescribed NSAID . Frequent bouts of self-induced
vomiting, especially those who suffer from Bulimia can cause esophagitis.
Acid Reflux Causes
1. Weakness of the LES. Factors contributing to this include medications, lying
down after a main meal and substances such as caffeine, mint, cigarettes, alchohol and chocolates.
2. High amount of acid in the stomach.
3. Slow rate of emptying of the gastric acid.
4. Hiatal Hernia.This is a medical condition whereby part of the stomach
protrudes through the diaphragm.
The most common cause of acid reflux is due the weakness of the LES.
Acid Reflux Symptoms
1. Burning sensation in the throat.This results from the reflux of acids
into the esophagus. You will feel the sour taste of acid in your mouth. Quite often, hyper-salivation (too much
saliva produced) will result.
2. Tightness or pain in the chest area just behind the breastbone.The
pain is akin to a burning sensation that radiates out from the center of the chest. However, it must be noted that
such a sensation can also indicate a heart attack. When in doubt, it is always wise to seek immediate medical
advice. 3. Nausea. A certain percentage of patients will exhibit such a symptom.
4. Difficulty in swallowing.The esophagus can become ulcerated, leading
to the formation of scar tissues that narrow the opening and make swallowing difficult.
5. Voice disorders.Chronic acid regurgitation can lead to pharyngitis or
6. Sinus infection.This is a symptom associated with, but not coming from
within the esophagus, the manifestation of GERD. The acid reflux can and do inflame the sinuses leading to
congestion and post-nasal drip.
7. Persistent cough.A chronic cough which does not seem to go away may
indicate acid reflux problems.
Recently, a review of studies by Medical College of Wisconsin physicians suggests that gastric
acid reflux in the esophagus may damage structures other than the esophagus and result in various health conditions
including sinus infections and eroded teeth and gums.
Though acid reflux or GERD may not be a common cause of sinus infection, it is important to
realize that such a link exists. If you do suffer from both conditions, prompt acid reflux treatmentcould ultimately solve
your sinus infection problems!