How can heartburn affect my voice?

Heartburn can affect your voice by exposing your vocal cords to stomach acid. When acid comes up the esophagus from the stomach, the acid can go from the upper esophagus to the upper trachea (windpipe) and by doing so may come into contact with the vocal cords. The vocal cords do not like stomach acid and this can make your voice hoarse.
Daniel McCabe, DMA, CCC-SLP
Ear, Nose & Throat (Otolaryngology)

Heartburn is a symptom you get when acid from the stomach comes up into your esophagus (which it’s not supposed to do). It usually happens when you’re awake, and can be quite painful. If material from your stomach (of which hydrochloric acid is just one part) makes it up to your throat, this is called laryngopharyngeal reflux (larynx and throat), and this can irritate the tissues of the vocal folds and surrounding area. You do not have to feel heartburn or regurgitation to have reflux, and only 50% of those with reflux feel these symptoms. Results of this include a hoarse voice (worse when you awaken in the morning), and/or chronic dry coughing. Sometimes a deepening or increase in the hoarseness of your voice can be the only sign of this type of tissue damage. Repeated/long-term burning of these tissues can lead to pathologic tissue changes, and needs to be treated.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.