Gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to as GERD, occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. When stomach acid comes in contact with the sensitive tissue lining the esophagus and throat, it causes a reaction similar to what you’d feel if you squirted lemon juice in your eye. This is why GERD is often characterized by a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn.
During gastroesophageal reflux, the contents of the stomach and upper digestive tract may reflux all the way up the esophagus, beyond the upper esophageal sphincter (a ring of muscle at the top of the esophagus), and into the back of the throat and voice box. This is known as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), which can affect anyone. Symptoms will also include hoarseness swelling of the throat.