Do you notice an increasing amount of pain in your throat? The esophagus is the muscular tube that delivers food from your mouth into your stomach. When there is inflammation in the esophagus the tissue can become irritated, resulting in a condition known as esophagitis. There are many different causes for esophagitis, including infection, oral medications, allergies, and the backup of stomach acids into the esophagus. Douglas Anderson, MD, an experienced ENT doctor, can diagnosis esophagitis and recommend treatment options.
Several symptoms that may indicate esophagitis:
- Painful swallowing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain while eating
- Swallowed food gets stuck in the esophagus
- Heartburn and acid regurgitation
- Feeding difficulties and failure to thrive (seen in infants and children with esophagitis)
Types of Esophagitis
Esophagitis can be caused by different underlying conditions, and in some cases, more than one factor may be causing the problem. There are several types of esophagitis, but the most common are:
Reflux esophagitis: When the valve-like structure at the end of the esophagus fails to close or opens when it shouldn’t, the contents of the stomach may back up into the esophagus. This condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux, and one of the complications of this disease is esophagitis. Treatment options include over-the-counter antacids, prescription-strength medications, and surgery.
Eosinophilic esophagitis: Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that play a key role in allergic reactions. When eosinophilic esophagitis occurs, it is generally a response to acid reflux, an allergy-causing agent, or both. During treatment, an ENT specialist in Ogden will help the patient identify and avoid the allergen. If the allergen is unavoidable, other options can include medications, steroids, and elimination diets.
Drug-induced esophagitis: Many types of oral medications can cause esophagitis, especially when they are taken without water as the residue of the pill can remain in the esophagus. These include pain-relievers like aspirin, antibiotics, and medications for osteoporosis. To reduce these negative side-effects, a doctor may recommend taking a pill with a full glass of water or switching to a liquid version of the medication.
If you believe your condition is esophagitis, reach out to Douglas Anderson, MD to schedule your appointment in Ogden.