Esophagitis (uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis) is inflammation that may damage tissues of the esophagus, the muscular tube that delivers food from your mouth to your stomach.

Esophagitis can cause painful, difficult swallowing and chest pain. Causes of esophagitis include stomach acids backing up into the esophagus, infection, oral medications and allergies.

Treatments for esophagitis depend on the underlying cause and the severity of tissue damage. If left untreated, esophagitis can damage the lining, interfere with normal function and lead to complications such as scarring, stricture and difficulty swallowing.

Common signs and symptoms of esophagitis include:

Difficult swallowing

Painful swallowing

Chest pain, particularly behind the breastbone, that occurs with eating

Swallowed food becoming stuck in the esophagus (food impaction)


Acid regurgitation

In young children, particularly those too young to explain their discomfort or pain, signs of esophagitis may include:

Feeding difficulties

Failure to thrive

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