Sleep Centers of Middle Tennessee


Gastroesophageal Reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux can have many different causes, including certain types of bacteria, hernia, or diet. Gastroesophageal reflux can also occur secondary to untreated obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In patients with OSA a negative pressure or “vacuum effect” is created in the thorax during apneic events, and the acid from the stomach is drawn up the esophagus to the back of the throat. Over time, exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid causes erosion of the esophageal lining, and the end result is gastroesophageal reflux. This reflux occurs most often at night, and can result in waking with a sore throat, bad taste in the mouth upon waking, or a choking/gagging sensation.