Sinusitis and Acid Reflux—The Hidden Link

If you’ve ever suffered from acid reflux, you know what a terrible feeling it can be. Heartburn, dyspepsia, chest pain…acid reflux is awful. Even worse, acid reflux may be the underlying cause of yet another health condition—sinusitis.

Stoache imageAcid reflux disease, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is triggered when stomach acid passes into your esophagus. This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, the ring of muscle at the entrance to your stomach, fails to close properly or opens too often. Stomach acid is extremely corrosive, which allows for the digestion and absorption of food. But it was never meant to enter the esophagus, and when it does it can create big problems such as heartburn, regurgitation, and even sinusitis.

How does acid reflux contribute to sinusitis? Doctors have long recognized that the two conditions tend to co-exist, but are only beginning to understand the mechanism that links them.

In fact, there could be two distinct routes by which acid reflux triggers sinus trouble:

  • Acid reaches the sinuses. It may be that the acid ultimately breaks through another sphincter at the top of the esophagus, ultimately allowing the acid to reach the sinuses. The acid irritates the sensitive mucus membranes of the sinus cavities, triggering sinusitis.
  • Neurologically. It could be that the aid doesn’t even need to reach the sinuses in order to cause sinusitis. Acid reflux could simply trigger neurological effects that cause inflammation of the sinuses.

OK, so acid reflux may be linked to your sinusitis, but what can you do about it? Click here to read about simple treatments for acid reflux, or simply contact us today.

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