I'm not really sure where to start so I'll just wade in! about
4 months ago I noticed I was waking during the night feeling like I was choking. I could breathe, but I felt like I couldn't swallow! The area I live in is very dry during the fall/winter months, and I have chronic sinusitis, so I thought it was related to that and increased my water intake. The inability to swallow only happened occasionally, not every night, so I wasn't concerned, and after a second or two I was always able to swallow. But then it occurred to me that over the past couple of years I've had occasions when I had trouble swallowing food (specifically breads, fine with other food), but again it wasn't constant and I figured I hadn't chewed enough or was "swallowing dry". With the chronic sinusitis and allergy symptoms I experience (post nasal drip, congestion, etc) it's tough to say what is being caused by that and what may be coming from another cause.
I've only ever had occasional heartburn, but in the last couple of weeks I've had some intense episodes of night-time heartburn. I've also continued to experience the difficult swallowing at night, as well as a "lump in my throat" feeling many days (I can generally swallow fine during the day, though). I was diagnosed with asthma about 5 years ago when I was having episodes of coughing at night, but now I'm wondering if I might have also had GERD all along. That worries me a bit since I'm concerned I may have sustained damage to my esophagus if it was GERD and has been left untreated
I'm planning to see my doctor as soon as possible, but I'm looking for some advice. Should my doctor be trying specific tests? Or do they generally try medications first? I have been using Prevacid Complete on occasion, and while it seems to help a bit at night the trouble swallowing still occurs even when I've used it.
I have to admit that I've gotten myself a bit freaked out about this (too much googling, sigh) and am now worried about Barrett's, an esophageal stricture, or even cancer. I know that's getting way ahead of myself but my symptoms do worry me. Any advice/support is very much appreciated!