Asian woman having or symptomatic reflux acids during working at home

What You Need to Know about Our FREE Acid Reflux Screening

The discomfort, the pain, the burning sensation, the annoying lump in my throat. I’ve struggled with acid reflux for as long as I can remember. As a kid, I loved all the usual, unhealthy food items kids normally love. I enjoyed sour candy, potato chips, and soda.  My body did NOT. I remember making a conscious decision when I was about 14 years old to cut out soda entirely because it made my throat hurt. In high school and college, my experience with acid reflux only got worse. I started limiting spicy and acidic foods and eventually I cut out meat from my diet entirely. I’ve only recently started trying fish again since I went vegetarian in 2016, and most days, my acid reflux stays minimal with the food changes I’ve made. 

Since it’s Esophageal Cancer Awareness Month and I’ve been creating content to educate others, I’ve learned a lot about acid reflux and how it relates to esophageal cancer. I decided a FREE Acid Reflux Screening might be good for me! I wanted to take precautionary measures and understand my risks for possible health concerns, including esophageal cancer. 

Getting Started. . .

Scheduling was easy! Yes, I went through the same process to schedule as a patient would–I called the front desk and set up a time to meet with one of our providers for my screening. Almost immediately after I got off the phone, I received a text about my appointment and a link to fill out paperwork. The paperwork took about 5 minutes to complete, and I did it all from my phone. With this being a free screening, I was only asked for my name, phone number, and my symptoms.

The Day of the Screening

I live near the clinic in Smyrna/Vinings, so I chose that location for my screening. It’s great having an ENT clinic so close to where I live! The check-in process went smoothly. I showed up about 10 minutes early to my appointment and was checked in immediately by one of the front desk staff. I sat in the waiting room for just a few minutes since I arrived early and was quickly greeted by another staff member named Cassie to bring me back to the room. Cassie was friendly and welcoming–she checked my vitals, asked about my symptoms, and informed me that the provider would be with me soon. 

After a couple of minutes, Justin Vinomon, a physician assistant at the ENT Institute, came into the room. He was also friendly and welcoming and went straight into asking me about my symptoms and why I wanted to get an acid reflux screening. We discussed my issues with acid reflux over the years, and I explained to him that I wanted to take precaution to understand my risks.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about having some sort of thin device go up my nose, but I am happy to report it’s not as scary as you might think! First of all, they spray a liquid into your nose to numb the area. They also rub the scope in a clear jelly-like substance for additional ease getting the device to go inside your nasal passageways. The overall process was quick and simple, and it only took about five minutes.

Once Justin pulled the scope out, he immediately placed it inside sanitary liquids then went to type up some notes. Afterwards, he began talking to me about what he saw and even showed me on a picture diagram what he was looking at during the screening which was extremely helpful considering I am a visual learner.

The Results

I am happy to report that Justin didn’t find anything serious during my screening. He concluded that my age and my lack of familial history with esophageal cancer put me at a lower risk for the disease. He did encourage me to stay aware of my symptoms and recommended over-the-counter medicines, like Omeprazole*, if acid reflux continues to be prevalent. 

Overall, I was very pleased with my experience and now feel much more at ease knowing the current state of my esophageal health. I would recommend getting this easy, quick, and FREE screening to everyone! 

*Omeprazole is a medication that helps decrease the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Do not take Omeprazole or any other medications without consulting a medical professional first.  

Caysea Baggs and Justin Vinomon, PA-C

If you’re struggling with acid reflux or think you might be, come see the experts at any of 14 convenient locations

Acid reflux is one of the leading causes of esophageal cancer. This particular cancer is on the rise and is often found in the later stages, making a person’s chances for treatment and survival much lower. Know your risks TODAY and learn how to take better care of your overall esophageal health! 

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