What is Esophagitis and Stricture?

Esophagitis is a general term used for any inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus. Benign esophageal stricture is a narrowing of the esophagus that can cause swallowing difficulties.

What Causes Esophagitis and Stricture?

Esophagitis is frequently caused by a backflow of stomach acid to the esophagus, known as heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

Stricture can be caused by GERD as well, but also by certain medications, long-term use of a nasogastric tube that runs from the nose to the stomach, swallowing corrosive substances, or bacterial or viral infection.

What are the Symptoms of Esophagitis and Stricture?

With esophagitis, the esophageal tissue becomes inflamed and can trigger symptoms, including dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), ulcers, heart burn, and a burning sensation in the esophagus. 

A stricture occurs when the inflamed area heals with a scar that narrows the esophagus, resulting in painful or difficulty swallowing. People who have frequent heartburn, vomit excessively, have had surgery or radiation to the chest or take medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and potassium, are at a higher risk of developing strictures. Additional symptoms include unintentional weight loss or food regurgitation.

What is the Treatment for Esophagitis and Stricture?

Treatment for esophagitis depends on the cause of your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend drug therapy and nutrition therapy to alleviate symptoms.

But when stricture causes the esophagus to become too narrow, doctors may recommend dilation. Dilation is used to widen the esophageal passageway to relieve dysphagia. If strictures continue to return post-treatment, surgery, dilation therapy with steroid injections, or stent placement may be considered.

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Prevention & Treatment

Esophageal Dilation

A procedure that stretches the esophagus through dilation or an air-filled balloon by endoscope. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.

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