This time around we are dipping into Dr. Z’s mailbag to focus on acid reflux and the proper steps needed to find relief.
Question # 1:
I have had a dry cough for a long time, and nothing seems to help. Why did my doctor give me something to treat heartburn? I don’t even have any symptoms.
This is what can be referred to as silent reflux. The acid that makes its way back to the upper esophageal sphincter, irritates the vocal cords and causes inflammation. This triggers a cough, which may be the only symptom.
Question # 2:
Then why do I not feel any better after I took the anti-reflux medication? Why did it not help?
Treatment for reflux includes reducing acid triggers like coffee, alcohol, smoking and overeating. In combination with these changes in habits, medications to treat reflux must be taken for an extended period, often a few months, before experiencing a decrease in symptoms.