Common forms of esophagitis include reflux esophagitis, infectious esophagitis, pill esophagitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and radiation and chemoradiation esophagitis. Candida esophagitis (see the image below) is the most common type of infectious esophagitis. The prognosis is good with rapid diagnosis and proper treatment; ultimately, it depends on the underlying disease. Esophagitis is commonly seen in adults and is uncommon in childhood. The pathophysiology of esophagitis depends on its etiology (see Etiology, below). Common forms of esophagitis include reflux esophagitis, infectious esophagitis, pill esophagitis, eosinophilic esophagitis, and radiation and chemoradiation esophagitis. Infectious esophagitis is most commonly observed in immunosuppressed hosts but has also been reported in healthy adults and children. A wide range of abnormalities in host defense may predispose an individual to opportunistic infections, such as neutropenia, impaired chemotaxis and phagocytosis, alteration in humoral immunity, and impaired T-cell lymphocyte function.
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), heartburn, acid regurgitation etc.
Treatments for esophagitis are intended to lessen symptoms, manage complications and treat underlying causes of the disorder. Treatment strategies vary primarily based on the cause of the disorder. Treatment for reflux esophagitis may include: Over-the-counter treatments, Prescription-strength medications and surgery.
Esophagitis is commonly seen in adults and is uncommon in childhood. The most common type of esophagitis is that associated with GERD (ie, reflux esophagitis). The incidence of symptoms of reflux is up to an order of magnitude higher than the prevalence of esophagitis. A review of the Swedish National Register estimated the prevalence of esophagitis (diagnosed by endoscopy) to be less than 5% in the 55-year-old group. Other reports have estimated the prevalence to be on the order of 2%.