Esophagitis is a condition, characterized by inflammation of the esophagus. It can either be acute, or chronic in nature.
The condition of esophagitis, presents with the following signs and symptoms :
The following tests would be employed, for diagnosing the condition of esophagitis:
The goal of treatment involves effective management of the symptoms, and treating the underlying disease conditions. Methods for treating esophagitis, depend on the cause of the condition. Following methods are employed to treat esophagitis:
The prognosis of the condition is usually favorable, and patients usually respond to treatment. For individuals with compromised immunity, recovery period will be pretty long. However, if esophagitis has induced significant changes in the cells of the esophagus, then chances of developing cancer in the future increases .
In majority of the cases, back flow of the stomach acids into the esophagus, is the major cause of esophagitis. In addition, other factors such as infections, underlying disease conditions, allergies and medications, can also predispose an individual to develop the condition. The nature of the causative factor gives rise to a specific type of esophagitis.
Back flow of acidic contents of stomach into the esophagus, causes gastrophageal reflux to develop. This in turn, leads to inflammation of the esophagus, causing esophagitis. Certain medications, if not gulped with enough water, can cause its remnants to remain in the lining of the esophagus, irritating the tissues. Such a condition is termed as drug-induced esophagitis .
Esophagitis is a common occurrence amongst adults, children are seldom affected . Reflux esophagitis and candida esophagitis are the most common forms of esophagitis. Symptoms of esophageal reflux occur in about 33 – 44% of population. Infectious esophagitis is majorly caused due to Herpes virus, and commonly occurs in those individuals with an underlying disease conditions, such as AIDS, lymphoma and leukemia .
The pathophysiology of esophagitis depends on the nature of the cause. However, the basic mechanism behind causation of inflammation of the esophagus, remains the same. Due to certain triggering factors, such as infection, drugs or gastrophageal reflux, irritation and damage to the tissues of the esophagus are caused. Such a phenomenon, favors the development of inflammation of the esophagus, which in turn, paves way for development of several unpleasant symptoms .
It is not always possible to prevent esophagitis. However, affected individuals can prevent its recurrence, by following those methods that have triggered previous bouts of esophagitis. It is necessary to avoid those medications, that can cause irritation in the esophageal lining. Also, avoiding direct contact with individuals, living with Herpes virus is also important.
Esophagitis is a painful condition, which can cause difficulty in swallowing of food in affected individuals. Some of the common forms of esophagitis include infectious esophagitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, pill esophagitis, reflux esophagitis and candida esophagitis. Of these, candida esophagitis is the most common form. Adults are more prone to develop the condition than children .
Definition: Esophagitis is a condition, wherein there is inflammation of esophagus, due to damage to its tissue by certain factors. Such a type of condition is more common amongst the adult population.
Cause: Gastropahgeal reflux, a condition characterized by back flow of the stomach contents to the esopahagus, is the most common cause of esopahgitis. In addition, certain types of drugs, allergic reactions, and infections can also lead to development of esophagitis.
Diagnosis: Various tests will be required to diagnose the condition of esophagitis and also to determine development of future complications. Diagnosis is done through the barium X-ray test, and endoscopy. These procedures help in proper viewing of the internal features of esophagus, to look for the presence of abnormalities.
Treatment: The type of treatment employed, depends on the type of esophagitis that has set in. For reflux esophagitis, over the counter medication are prescribed for preventing gastrophageal reflux. In addition, prescription strength medications, containing H2-receptor blockers are administered. For infectious esophagitis, antibiotics are prescribed for treating the infections.