Acid reflux is the reverse passage of gastric contents into the oesophagus (‘food pipe’) which can cause heartburn. The terms are often used interchangeably, but acid reflux is the actual action of part of the stomach contents traveling back up the oesophagus (sometimes into the throat and even into the mouth), while heartburn is the uncomfortable feeling as a result of that action.
If you have frequent acid reflux, you may have GORD - Gastro Oesophageal Reflux Disease. It might sound scary, but in most cases GORD is not a serious condition and is experienced by one in ten people every day. However persistent episodes can damage the lining of the oesophagus, so have a chat with your GP or pharmacist if you’re at all concerned.