The main symptoms are:
The diagnosis often is made based on your symptoms. The most accurate way to check for esophagitis is for a gastroenterologist to look directly at the inside of the esophagus with a video camera called an endoscope. The endoscope has a camera at the end of a flexible, plastic-coated tube. This tube is long enough to reach through the stomach to the first portion of the intestine (duodenum), so the procedure is sometimes called esophagogastroduodenoscopy or EGD. Using the endoscope, the gastroenterologist can see evidence of injury from esophagitis, such as areas where the lining of the esophagus has worn away (called erosions or ulcers), blisters or scarred areas. Some infections leave a deposit on the esophagus walls that can be sampled through the endoscope by using a remote-controlled brush. In some cases the doctor will do a biopsy of the esophagus by snipping a small sample of the inside lining through the end of the endoscope. This tissue is examined under a microscope.
The most common cause of esophagitis, acid reflux, sometimes can be prevented by some very simple measures:
All prescription and nonprescription pills should be taken while you are upright and should be swallowed with water. This is especially important for the medicines that frequently cause esophagitis.
Treatment depends on the cause of esophagitis. While your esophagus is recovering, your doctor can ease your pain symptoms by prescribing pain relievers or a local anesthetic that can be swallowed in a thick liquid form to coat the esophagus lining.
While your esophagus is recovering, your doctor can ease your pain symptoms by prescribing pain relievers or a local anesthetic that can be swallowed in a thick liquid form to coat the esophagus lining.