alkaseltzer helps because the likeliest cause is gastro-esophageal reflux (aka GERD, acid reflux):
"When acid from the stomach leaks up into the gullet (oesophagus), the condition is known as acid reflux. This may cause heartburn and other symptoms. A medicine which reduces the amount of acid made in your stomach is a common treatment and usually works well. Some people take short courses of medication when symptoms flare up. Some people need long-term daily medication to keep symptoms away.
â€¢Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy (abdomen) or lower chest up towards the neck or lower chest up towards the neck. (It is confusing as it has nothing to do with the heart!)
â€¢Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion (dyspepsia), and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go, and tend to be worse after a meal.
â€¢Some uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example: â€¢A persistent cough, particularly at night sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe (trachea).
" https://www.patient.co.uk/health/acid-re ... sophagitis
"These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:
Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
Being overweight or obese
Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist
Snacking close to bedtime
Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications
Common symptoms of acid reflux are:
Heartburn: a burning pain or discomfort that may move from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, or even up into your throat
Regurgitation: a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth
other symptoms can include
Hiccups that don't let up
Weight loss for no known reason
Wheezing, dry cough
, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
It's time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don't bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms*
https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/gui ... ux-disease
*This is saying one diagnostic sign that this is acid reflux is if the symptoms including the dry cough are reduced by antacids. You feel fine because you aren't sick. Acid reflux is not a disease/infection, it is a disorder, a structural weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter (valve) that when it is working well keeps the stomach contents from rising. However, if it isn't well managed by over the counter treatments and lifestyle changes, you should see a doctor, because the acid in the esophagus over time can cause erosions and other problems.
Life style changes include: lose weight, eat small meals, don't eat late at night or irritating foods, exercise, don't spend too much time lying down. More info about ways to avoid this problem: https://www.webmd.com/ahrq/treating-acid ... le-changes