Esophagitis

What is esophagitis?

Esophagitis is an inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. If left untreated, this condition can become very uncomfortable, causing difficulty in swallowing, and ulcers or scarring of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus, a complication of acid reflux, is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.

What causes esophagitis?

Esophagitis is an irritation of the esophagus caused by any of the following:

What are the symptoms of esophagitis?

Symptoms of esophagitis include:

If you have any of these symptoms, you should contact your health care provider.

How is esophagitis diagnosed?

Once your doctor has performed a thorough physical examination and reviewed your medical history, there are several tests that can be used to diagnose esophagitis. These include:

How is esophagitis treated?

Treatment for esophagitis depends on its cause. While medications that block acid production may be recommended, other medications may be prescribed for infectious causes of esophagitis. While being treated for esophagitis, there are certain steps you can take to help limit any discomfort that you may feel. These include:

What is the prognosis (outlook) for people who have esophagitis?

The causes of esophagitis usually respond to treatment; however, some causes, such as acid reflux, may require long-term treatment.

References

 

This information is provided by the Cleveland Clinic and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition. For additional health information, please contact the Center for Consumer Health Information at the Cleveland Clinic (216) 444-3771 or toll-free (800) 223-2273 extension 43771. If you prefer, you may visit www.clevelandclinic.org/health/ or www.clevelandclinicflorida.org. This document was last reviewed on: 11/19/2014

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