You CAN have acid reflux without heartburn.
Heartburn is one of the many symptoms of acid reflux, so though it is one of the most common, you can have acid reflux without heartburn.
What Is Heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation that begins in the stomach and moves upward toward the esophagus. In some cases, it can feel like there is something lodged behind your breastbone or stuck in your throat. The symptoms of heartburn may worsen when lying prone or bending over.
Many people who experience occasional heartburn do not suffer from acid reflux. Your doctor may suspect acid reflux and evaluate your condition if you experience heartburn more than a few times per week on a consistent basis.
Non-Heartburn Symptoms of acid reflux include coughing, burping, stomach regurgitation, nausea after eating, hiccups, and difficulty swallowing.