Injury caused by acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can lead to a number of complications, such as Barrett’s esophagus, strictures and esophageal cancer.

Injury to the esophagus may occur with acid reflux/GERD. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, located at the bottom of the esophagus, relaxes abnormally or weakens, it allows acid to flow back into your esophagus. Normally, the LES works as a valve opening to allow food into the stomach and then closing to keep acid and food from flowing back into the esophagus. The lining of the esophagus is not equipped to protect itself from gastric acid, so when acid reflux occurs, it can irritate your esophagus and cause injury such as inflammation and swelling.

If you experience constant burning pain in your throat or chest or if you have difficulty swallowing, also known as dysphagia, talk to a gastroenterologist.  Your symptoms might be signs of a more serious problem.