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Suggest treatment for acid reflux

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Posted on Mon, 13 Jun 2016
Question: I have acid reflux, partial hiatal hernia (spelling) and sometimes at night fluid/acid comes up, goes down my trachea and chokes me. I aspirate I believe is the term. When this happens my bronchial tubes seem to close as of I'm having an asma attack. I can't get air in or out. I'm not choking like on a piece of food or something... My lungs feel like they won't work. A co-worker has the exact same condition and aspiration problem. His doctor gave him an inhaler as if he had asma. He suggested I ask my doctor for one. At first I told him I didn't see how it could help, but he said it did. So..I asked my PCP and he said the same thing I initially did, that it wouldn't help. He asked if I'd ever had asma..no. But it feels like an asma attack when I aspirate. Would an inhaler help or not. Is my co-workers Dr. just placating him?
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
It might help with bronchoconstriction

Detailed Answer:
Hello and welcome,

A bronchodilator inhaler such as albuterol will not stop the underlying condition of acid reflux and aspiration. It can, however, decrease the constriction of the bronchi in response to the caustic acid. This will help with acute tightness, but won't help the underlying problem. I also am not sure if it is a good thing to dilate the airways and prevent their natural reaction to keeping acid out. That is a question I would put to a pulmonologist. But if you are having excessive bronchial constriction, then an inhaler might help.

I hope the underlying problem of night time acid reflux is being addressed. Not eating within a few hours of going to bed, having the head of the bed up on blocks, and taking an acid reducer are all important things to help prevent this.

I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 3134 Questions

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Suggest treatment for acid reflux

Brief Answer: It might help with bronchoconstriction Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome, A bronchodilator inhaler such as albuterol will not stop the underlying condition of acid reflux and aspiration. It can, however, decrease the constriction of the bronchi in response to the caustic acid. This will help with acute tightness, but won't help the underlying problem. I also am not sure if it is a good thing to dilate the airways and prevent their natural reaction to keeping acid out. That is a question I would put to a pulmonologist. But if you are having excessive bronchial constriction, then an inhaler might help. I hope the underlying problem of night time acid reflux is being addressed. Not eating within a few hours of going to bed, having the head of the bed up on blocks, and taking an acid reducer are all important things to help prevent this. I hope this information helps. Please let me know if I can provide further information or clarification.