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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Oct 3, 2022.

Esophagitis is inflammation or irritation of the lining of the esophagus.

Digestive Tract


Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

  • You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
    • Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest
    • You may also have any of the following:
      • Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
      • Shortness of breath
      • Nausea or vomiting
      • Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat

Seek care immediately if:

  • You feel like you have food stuck in your throat and you cannot cough it out.

Call your doctor if:

  • You have new or worsening symptoms, even after treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.


  • Medicines may be given to fight an infection or to control stomach acid.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell your provider if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Manage or prevent esophagitis:

  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can irritate and damage your esophagus. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol can irritate your esophagus. Talk to your healthcare provider if you need help to stop drinking.
  • Limit or do not eat foods that can lead to esophagitis. Foods such as oranges and salsa can irritate your esophagus. Caffeine and chocolate can cause acid reflux. High-fat and fried foods make your stomach digest food more slowly. This increases the amount of stomach acid your esophagus is exposed to. Eat small meals, and drink water with your meals. Soft foods such as yogurt and applesauce may help soothe your throat. Do not eat for at least 3 hours before you go to bed.
  • Drink more liquid when you take pills. Drink a full glass of water when you take your pills. Ask your healthcare provider if you can take your pills at least an hour before you go to bed.
  • Prevent acid reflux. Do not bend over unless it is necessary. Acid may back up into your esophagus when you bend over. If possible, keep the head of your bed elevated while you sleep. This will help keep acid from backing up. Manage stress. Stress can make your symptoms worse or cause stomach acid to back up.
  • Keep batteries and similar objects out of the reach of children. Babies often put items in their mouths to explore them. Button batteries are easy to swallow and can cause serious damage. Keep the battery covers of electronic devices such as remote controls taped closed. Store all batteries and toxic materials where children cannot get to them. Use childproof locks to keep children away from dangerous materials.

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Your doctor may refer you to a stomach specialist, allergist, or dietitian. You may need ongoing tests or treatment. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.