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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Swallowing Difficulty

When stomach acid splashes upward into the esophagus, this is called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD can result in irritation, inflammation, or scarring of the esophagus. Sometimes inflammation or ring-shaped scarring can narrow the esophagus, making it difficult for food to pass after it is swallowed.

To prevent more acid injury from occurring, your doctor may recommend an acid-blocking medicine such as famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (Aciphex).

You will need a test called esophagogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD (viewing of the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum with a camera on a flexible, narrow cord). If you have scarring that is narrowing your esophagus, you may need your doctor to stretch the scar during this procedure, a process called dilatation. Your doctor might alternatively choose to view your esophagus using a test named a barium swallow (x-ray views of the esophagus after you swallow a liquid that shows up on x-ray).


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