What should I do about aspiration of gastric contents at night? I ate a large meal before bed last night and woke up suddenly aspirating some of it into my lungs? I'm terrified this will lead to something serious. I'm not having any symptoms other than an
Timing. Don't eat within 60-90 minutes of bed. Avoid large meals late in day. Elevate head of bed or your head/shoulders if you can stay on pillows. It is theorized that everyone aspirates to some degree--just don't want too much of anything.
Aspiration . Aspiration of gastric contents into the lungs can be a potentially serious problem leading to aspiration pneumonia. The symptoms of this include feeling shortness of breath, coughing up phlegm and sometimes also developing chest pain and fevers. Since you do not have any of these symptoms, it is likely that you are just suffering from chronic reflux of gastric contents causing a sensation of acid tasting burning in your throat and gagging. The medical terminologies for these symptoms are gastro-esophageal reflux disease and larygopharygeal reflux disease. Sometimes, over a long period of time these conditions can lead to a change in your voice (typically hoarseness), a sensation that something is stuck in your throat as well as difficulty swallowing. Some simple things you can do to help alleviate these symptoms include stopping smoking, reducing alcohol and caffeine consumption as well as carbonated beverages. Talk to your doctor about other available treatments so that you can prevent any long-term complications.