Sinus Infection Help

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 small intestine.

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 (GERD)?

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 hoarseness.

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.

Medical Evidence

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!