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How does acid reflux make your asthma symptoms worse?

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There are two ways acid reflux can trigger asthma or make symptoms worse:

Acid touches the nerves in your esophagus, which sets off a chain reaction. The nerves tell your brain to tell your airways to protect themselves from the acid. Your airways narrow to keep the acid out, and asthma symptoms start.

Stomach acid gets into your lungs directly. The acid irritates your airways, which makes you wheeze, cough, and feel tightness in your chest.

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Heartburn," "Antacids and Acid Reducers: OTC Relief for Heartburn and Acid Reflux."

Annals of Thoracic Medicine : "Pulmonary manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Asthma and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease."

Cleveland Clinic: "GERD and Asthma."

Gastroenterology & Hepatology : "Is There a Relationship Between GERD and Asthma?"

Mayo Clinic: "Is there a connection between asthma and acid reflux?"

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 25, 2019

SOURCES:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology: "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Heartburn," "Antacids and Acid Reducers: OTC Relief for Heartburn and Acid Reflux."

Annals of Thoracic Medicine : "Pulmonary manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux disease."

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: "Asthma and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease."

Cleveland Clinic: "GERD and Asthma."

Gastroenterology & Hepatology : "Is There a Relationship Between GERD and Asthma?"

Mayo Clinic: "Is there a connection between asthma and acid reflux?"

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on June 25, 2019

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What tests help diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

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