Acid Reflux in Children
Gastro Oesophageal Reflux (GOR), or acid reflux, is a condition in which stomach acid flows backwards into the oesophagus.
The oesophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. Normally, the muscle located at the bottom of the oesophagus—the lower esophageal sphincter—closes off properly after food and liquids pass so that stomach acid does not back up into the oesophagus.
Almost everyone experiences acid reflux from time to time. This is especially true in infants between the ages of 1-4 months. In most cases, this condition resolves when children reach 6-12 months. Acid reflux can become a problem when it extends beyond this time, which is why it is so important to schedule an appointment with an ear nose and throat specialist in Sydney if any of the following symptoms occur in your child:
Acid reflux symptoms
- Frequent vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Chest pain
- Weight loss or insufficient weight gain
- Burning sensation (“heartburn”) in the oesophagus
- Choking or gagging on food
- Chronic sore throat
- Bad breath
- Cough that worsens at night
- Chronic nasal discharge
- Sinus infections
- Dry cough or hoarseness
- Frequent ear infections
- Problems eating or drinking despite being hunger or thirsty
- Frequent difficulty sleeping
- Excessive salivation
Persistent symptoms of acid reflux should be addressed by an ENT specialist as soon as possible. Infants may experience acid reflux without symptoms. However, symptoms often occur if the problem continues past 6-12 months of age.
An ear, nose and throat specialist will be able to perform a physical examination, verify a diagnosis made by your primary care physician, and determine if any serious underlying problems, such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), are causing the symptoms. It is imperative to rule out possible causes or to treat more serious conditions if they do exist.