Oesophagitis Explained: Understanding the Burn in Your Throat 

Oesophagitis is inflammation of the oesophagus – the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. This inflammation can make swallowing painful and cause other symptoms. 

Let us break down this medical term into simple, everyday language. 

Why Does it Happen? 

There are a few common reasons why someone might develop oesophagitis: 

  • Acid reflux: the most common cause. Stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus, irritating its lining. 
  • Medications: certain pills can irritate the oesophagus if they don't move to the stomach quickly enough. 
  • Allergic reactions: some people have allergic reactions that affect their oesophagus. 
  • Infections: in some cases, infections can lead to oesophagitis, especially in people with weakened immune systems. 

Symptoms to Look Out For 

The symptoms of oesophagitis can vary, but they often include: 

  • Heartburn 
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) 
  • Painful swallowing (odynophagia) 
  • Chest pain 
  • A sensation of something stuck in the throat 

Diagnosis: How is Oesophagitis Detected? 

If you experience symptoms of oesophagitis, it is important to see a doctor. They might recommend: 

  • An endoscopy: A camera is used to look inside your oesophagus. 
  • A barium swallow: After drinking a barium solution, X-rays of your oesophagus are taken. 
  • Biopsy: A small sample of oesophageal tissue may be taken during an endoscopy for analysis. 

Treating Oesophagitis 

The treatment depends on the cause. Common approaches include: 

  • Medications: antacids, acid blockers, or proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid. 
  • Dietary changes: avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, like spicy or fatty foods. 
  • Elevating the head while sleeping: this can prevent acid reflux during the night. 
  • Swallowing therapy: if dysphagia is a problem, a speech or swallowing therapist might help. 

Preventing Oesophagitis 

You can reduce your risk of oesophagitis by: 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight 
  • Eating smaller, more frequent meals 
  • Avoiding lying down immediately after eating 
  • Quitting smoking 
  • Reducing alcohol intake 


Oesophagitis can be uncomfortable, but with the right lifestyle changes and treatment, you can manage the symptoms. If you suspect you have oesophagitis, do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Remember, taking care of your oesophagus is an essential part of maintaining your overall health and well-being.