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Esophagitis is a general term for any inflammation, irritation, or swelling of the esophagus, the tube that leads from the back of the mouth to the stomach. Infection of the esophagus is rare in individuals with a healthy immune system.

Symptoms include:

  • Difficult and painful swallowing
  • Chest pain, particularly behind the breastbone, that occurs with eating
  • Swallowed food becoming stuck in the esophagus
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cough
  • Decreased appetite

Medication in most people with esophagitis can control the infection. Many individuals receiving treatment for infectious esophagitis may need other, long-term medication to suppress the virus or fungus or to prevent the infection from reoccurring. Healthy individuals usually recover on their own in 3 - 5 days, but those with a weakened immune system take longer to get better.

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