WebMD states that bouts of heartburn frequently last two or more hours. However, there are several ways for heartburn sufferers to ease the intensity, duration and frequency of bouts.
Nearly all people experience heartburn at some point in their lives. WebMD estimates that twenty percent of Americans suffer a heartburn episode at least once a week. Simple life changes and over-the-counter medications are among the most effective ways to control heartburn symptoms.
WebMD explains that a person must stop eating two to three hours before bedtime to lessen heartburn severity. Eighty percent of regular heartburn sufferers experience episodes right before bedtime or while sleeping. In order to dull heartburn symptoms and reduce their frequency, eat smaller meals, eat slowly, and avoid alcohol and smoking.
Heartburn sufferers must also learn what their particular triggers are. Coffee, citrus and fatty foods intensify indigestion and prolong attacks in some patients. FamilyDoctor.org suggests that heartburn sufferers keep antacids handy. Over-the-counter antacids in chewable or liquid form provide fast-acting relief for heartburn bouts by neutralizing stomach acids quickly. WebMD reports that for mild to moderate cases of occasional heartburn, antacids alleviate symptoms in about an hour, halving the typical length of a heartburn episode. FamilyDoctor.org explains that chronic sufferers prefer drugs such as ranitidine and omeprazole because they offer a longer period of relief.