Complications of heartburn
Recurrent and long-term heartburn may not be simple and easy to control as occasional heartburn. It usually indicates GERD that requires prescription medications or even surgery.
Ignored recurrent heartburn means continuous irritation and inflammation of the lining wall of the esophagus, which may lead to ulcers and bleeding. These ulcers may heal with scars and cause esophageal strictures and narrowing.
Continuous irritation of the esophagus by acid reflux may change its lining cells because they can’t tolerate the acid, which is Barret’s esophagus.
Changing the cell type is metaplasia, and it’s a precancerous condition. Thus, Barret’s esophagus puts you at a higher risk of esophageal cancer.
Also, long-term heartburn may impact your quality of life.