Eosinophilic Esophagitis

 

Eosinophilic esophagitis is essentially an allergic condition of the esophagus.  Patients will find that they have episodes of difficulty swallowing that will last 5-10 minutes when they cannot swallow anything down.  There is associated with mild discomfort in the chest.  After waiting several minutes for the tightness to resolve, they are able to resume eating.

 

Diagnosis is made by biopsy of the esophagus, which appears normal to the naked eye.  However, microscopic examination of the tissue will show that eosinophils (cells which mediate an allergic response) will be found abnormally in the tissues of the esophagus.  Biopsy can be done in the office with transnasal esophagoscopy or in the operating room with sedation.

 

Treatment can be administered by swallowing a liquid steroid daily.  Another treatment approach that I personally favor is to get tested for food allergies.  Usually, avoidance of the culprit food allergen is enough to relieve symptoms.