Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the esophagus is irritated by stomach acid because a valve at the top of the stomach does not function properly, allowing acid to escape and irritate the throat. Heartburn is the most commonly experienced symptom, but others include a drug cough, sore throat and problems swallowing. Untreated, GERD may lead to symptoms such as inflammation and ulcers in the esophagus, hoarseness and lung disease.
Treatment of GERD involves lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller portions, avoiding certain foods, quitting smoking, losing weight and avoiding certain medicines. Medication such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors/PPIs such as Prilosec (omeprazole), and H2 antagonists may also be used to treat GERD.