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The nature of esophagitis, an irritation or infection of the esophagus, means that treatment depends on how it is caused. The different types of esophagitis treatment options include heartburn medication, antibiotics, painkillers, and steroids to reduce any inflammation. In some cases, the patient may need intravenous nutrition and fluid in order to allow the esophagus to heal. While the esophagus is healing, most patients will be advised to follow a list of protocols including avoiding certain foods. There are some situations where esophagitis treatment requires surgery, but usually only if other treatments are not suitable.
Medication is one form of esophagitis treatment that is generally prescribed. Heartburn drugs may be suitable if the symptoms are being caused by acid reflux. These drugs help to block and slow production of acid, which can help reduce painful symptoms. If the condition is being caused by an infection, antibiotics can be an option.
Painkillers are sometimes used to reduce the pain associated with esophagitis. These painkillers are usually either swallowed or gargled. Although pain medication often won’t solve the underlying condition, they can reduce the patient’s symptoms to a manageable level while other treatments are tried.
Esophagitis pain can be caused by inflammation, so sometimes anti-inflammatory drugs can be used. Corticosteroid drugs are effective at reducing inflammation and can help to reduce pain and other symptoms. It’s important to note that the condition can actually be caused by anti-inflammatory drugs in the first place, so this treatment may not be suitable for all patients.
One particular issue with esophagitis treatment is that once the area becomes inflamed, it can be difficult for the patient to allow it time to heal. For this reason, sometimes a patient is given nutrition intravenously, i.e., directly into a vein. This gives the esophagus time to fully recover while ensuring that the patient doesn’t suffer from malnutrition.
There are a number of things that the patient can do to help aid recovery while esophagitis treatment is taking place. These include avoiding any spicy foods, eating with small mouthfuls, and drinking through a straw. It can also a good idea to avoid cigarettes or alcohol, as these can increase irritation.
In some cases, more invasive treatment may be required for esophagitis. For example, if there is something lodged in the esophagus, an endoscopy can be used to clear the tube. If part of the esophagus tube is too damaged to heal naturally, then surgery to remove this section may be required.
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