Esophagus Medical Conditions
- Heartburn: An incompletely closed LES allows acidic stomach contents to back up (reflux) into the esophagus. Reflux can cause heartburn, cough or hoarseness, or no symptoms at all.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD): When reflux occurs frequently or is bothersome, it's called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
- Esophagitis: Inflammation of the esophagus. Esophagitis can be due to irritation (as from reflux or radiation treatment) or infection.
- Barrett,s esophagus: Regular reflux of stomach acid irritates the esophagus, which may cause the lower part to change its structure. Very infrequently, Barrett's esophagus progresses to esophageal cancer.
- Esophageal ulcer: An erosion in an area of the lining of the esophagus. This is often caused by chronic reflux.
- Esophageal stricture: A narrowing of the esophagus. Chronic irritation from reflux is the usual cause of esophageal strictures.
- Esophageal web: An accumulation of tissue (similar to an esophageal ring) that usually occurs in the upper esophagus. Like rings, esophageal webs usually cause no symptoms.
- Plummer-Vinson syndrome: A condition including chronic iron-deficient anemia, esophageal webs, and difficulty swallowing. Iron replacement and dilation of esophageal webs are treatments.
- Esophageal stricture: A narrowing of the esophagus, from a variety of causes, which, if narrow enough, may lead to difficult swallowing.