Can acid reflux cause sore throat/cough?

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I recently came down with a sore throat and cough but can't figure out whether it's linked to a cold/flu or acid reflux. I do suffer from acid reflux. Sometimes I feel tightness in my chest & throat and I read that acid reflux can irritate the throat causing soreness, hoarseness and cough. However, this cough that I have seems to be a "wet" cough....meaning I can feel some mucus. Would there be mucus if it's caused by acid reflux? I don't have sneezing, runny nose or other typical cold symptoms. 

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  • Posted

    Acid reflux does cause a sore throat with a cough with the sensation of mucus at the back of your throat that you constantly feel you have to clear.  Hoarseness can happen; I have had all these symptoms with chronic acid reflux.  

    To find out if it is acid reflux or a cold, try an antacid.  If the cough and other sensations go away, then it is likely to be acid reflux.  If the sensations don’t go away, it is more likely to be a cold.  I have tried this.  I wasn’t sure if my itchy throat was an acid reflux flare up or the cold.  I tried an antacid but it didn’t work and as the cold symptoms progressed, I realised on that occasion, it was an infection.

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    • Posted

      Dear Pippa,

      Thanks for your reply and for always replying to my posts. 

      I took your advice and just drank liquid antacid. I'm about to sleep. When I wake up I'll assess whether there was improvement in the sore throat/cough. I don't currently have any other cold symptoms but family members in my house did have a cold recently and we may have come into close contact or shared a telephone or something of the sort. If acid reflux is causing this....that would be very scary because I read it can lead to cancer of the oesophagus. 

      How have you been feeling lately?

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    • Posted

      I have been fine; the only thing I have been needing to treat regularly is acid reflux.  This is just normal for me and I don’t worry about it.

      if you do have acid reflux, it is nothing to be anxious about. It is very common indeed. Try not to think of the worst case scenario which may never happen.  Worry can make acid reflux worse.  

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    • Posted

      Dear Pippa,

      Today I woke up with flu-like symptoms....runny nose, sneezing etc. I guess now I can confirm that the sore throat was caused by a flu and not acid reflux....just as in your case. The antacid didn't help. I'm still coughing and feeling a lot of mucus today. That's a relief because acid does so much damage to the oesophagus and throat. Now I just have to take flu meds and hopefully get over this as quickly as possible. 

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    • Posted

      Colds are on the march again; my dad had a sore throat and chesty cough.  Glad you found out what was wrong.

      However, if you ever get acid reflux, try not to get anxious about what potential damage it is doing.  Simply, take antacids or milk and so long as you control the acid, this should help protect your oesophagus and throat from damage.If H2 blockers don’t help, your doctor can give you a PPI.

      I have had acid reflux for years and it is easily controlled.  There is no point in getting anxious about it because, worry can trigger more acid.  My reflux started because of anxiety and stress.

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