Hiatal hernia is a condition where a portion of the stomach protrudes towards the chest via an opening in the diaphragm. Diaphragm is a sheet of muscle which separates the chest and the abdomen and is used for breathing.
The exact cause for hiatal hernia is unknown, however it may be caused as a result of the weakening of the supporting tissue. Ageing, obesity and smoking are also known be the risk factors among adults. Children suffering from this condition are usually congenital. The disorder is associated with gastroesophageal reflux in small babies. The most commonly observed symptoms in hiatal hernia are:
- Heartburn, gets worse when lying down or bending over
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in swallowing