What Are Symptoms of Heartburn?

Heartburn is a common complaint that affects adults of all ages. Below is some information to help you understand how heartburn feels, as well as some tips to help you determine if you may be suffering from a more serious problem.

Heartburn can cause a variety of different symptoms. Some of the most common heartburn symptoms include:

  • A burning in the chest, neck or throat. - The most common symptom experienced by people with heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest, throat or neck1.
  • Sour, salty or acidic taste. - The fluid that comes into your throat and mouth can taste sour, salty or acidic1.
  • Trouble swallowing. - Some people who have heartburn may feel like they have something stuck in their throat and/or that they can't swallow properly2.
  • Pain in your chest. - Some people with heartburn also experience chest pain3.
  • Sore throat. - If you have a chronic sore throat, it could be related to the acid that comes into your throat when you have heartburn.3.
  • Hoarseness. - The acid in your throat can damage your larynx, which can lead to hoarseness and/or a raspy voice3.

For many people, the symptoms of heartburn can worsen in the evening and overnight.

What Does Heartburn Feel Like?

Most people describe heartburn as burning in the chest, usually behind the breastbone. It may last for a few minutes only, or it may persist for several hours. In some cases, the uncomfortable sensation may move up into the neck and throat as well. The pain may appear or worsen when you lay down or bend over3.

How Long Does Heartburn Last?

Heartburn can last for only a few minutes in some cases. In other cases, it may go on for hours1. Taking a medication for heartburn can reduce the amount of time you experience symptoms. For some people, however, heartburn is a chronic condition that continues to reappear. Although an individual episode may last only minutes or hours, you may experience symptoms again and again. If you have chronic heartburn symptoms, you may have an underlying condition that is causing you to experience this problem frequently. Seeing a doctor can help you get the answers you need and explore treatment options3.


  1. https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/diagnose#1
  2. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9617-heartburn-overview
  3. https://www.health.com/condition/digestive-health/heartburn-symptoms