Esophagitis: 7 Symptoms You Need to Know

Esophagitis at a Glance

Esophagitis is an inflammation [1] that may damage tissues of the esophagus. The esophagus is also called food pipe, it is the muscular tube that aids the passage of foods in the digestive tract. Esophagitis can cause pain and difficulty swallowing. Causes of esophagitis include stomach acids backing up into the esophagus, infection, oral medications, and allergies. Common causes [2] include acid reflux, side effects of certain medications, and bacterial or viral infections. Reflux is when the stomach contents and acids back up into the esophagus.

Untreated esophagitis can lead to ulcers, scarring, and severe narrowing of the esophagus, which can be a medical emergency. Your treatment options and outlook depend on the cause of your condition. Most healthy people improve within two to four weeks with proper treatment. Recovery may take longer for people with a weakened immune system or infection. Surgery is usually the last option where other treatments aren’t yielding positive results. Your doctor will advise you to consider going under the knife where medication has proved ineffective.

Types [3] of esophagitis include:

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis
  • Reflux esophagitis
  • Drug-induced esophagitis
  • Infectious esophagitis