Common symptoms of oesophagitis, inflammation of the oesophagus, are acid reflux and heartburn caused by a hiatal hernia. In this article, we explain the underlying causes, how to get relief and treatment.
It is possible that if you have oesophagitis, oesophageal catarrh, or oesophagus inflammation as it is also called, you will experience such intense pain and pressure across the chest that it can be confused with a heart attack.
If you have asthma, you may experience severe discomfort due to acid reflux during the night. There are also those who receive ongoing asthma treatment, but where the very cause of the problem is actually acid reflux. In these instances, asthma medication does not help.
When you lie down, bend forward to pick something up, or carry something heavy, it is common for the problem to get worse. In these situations it is also common to potentially experience that you have thick, frothy saliva that is difficult to swallow and may need to be spat out.
Causes of oesophagitis
Once in the oesophagus, they cause gastric acid burns, as the mucous membranes are not adapted to protect against them. The oesophagus tries to protect its mucous membranes by producing a secretion. This is the reason why the thick mucus that some people experience is worse at night or during the morning.
The root cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease is a hiatal hernia. Many people suffer from acid reflux or heartburn every now and then. But some experience constant discomfort and in either case, gastric acid may cause burns to the oesophageal mucous membranes, causing catarrh, also called oesophagitis. If the symptoms are constant, always seek medical advice.
Over time, if you have cell changes in your oesophagus due to the gastric acid burns, this is known as Barrett’s oesophagus.
There are several ways to alleviate oesophagitis:
- Lifestyle changes, which involves eating healthily and losing weight if you are overweight
- Avoiding late meals
- Raising the head end of your bed
- Taking acid-neutralising medications
All this can help alleviate your symptoms, but does not deal with the root cause.
In very severe cases you may be offered surgery, but this option is now rare because the treatment results are sometimes temporary or the surgery may pose a risk of complications.
One method that is unique and does not have any negative side effects is IQoro, a neuromuscular training device. It strengthens the entire chain of muscles, from lips to diaphragm and stomach. The training is simple and takes only 90 seconds of your day.
Behind IQoro is 20 years of research in collaboration with the university hospitals in Uppsala, Linköping and Umeå. The neuromuscular training device is CE marked according to the Swedish Medical Products Agency’s health, safety and environmental requirements.
Reviewed by Mary Hägg in association with IQoro
Associate Professor of Experimental Research in Ear, Nose and Throat diseases at Uppsala University, and Hospital Dental Surgeon specializing in orofacial medicine.
Mary has worked for 12 years as a hospital dentist and for 31 years as Head of the Speech & Swallowing Centre, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hudiksvall Hospital, Sweden.