What can be done to prevent the disease?
Maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding
smoking, and limiting
intake may decrease the risk of esophagitis. Other ways to decrease the risk
eating a nutritious diet based on the
food guide pyramid
getting adequate rest
practicing safer sex
getting proper treatment for
Esophagitis caused by toxic substances can be avoided by:
storing chemicals in properly labeled containers and keeping them out of the
reach of children
always taking pills with adequate amounts of liquid and at least 15 minutes
before lying down
Prevention of esophagitis is not always possible.
What are the long-term effects of the disease?
If the cause of the esophagitis is an infection, and the infection is treated,
the inflammation may improve.
If a toxic chemical, such as lye, bleach, or gasoline is ingested, the
esophagus can perforate, or rupture. This
esophageal perforation can be fatal.
Conditions such as GERD can
irritate and narrow the esophagus. Chronic GERD can result in Barrett's esophagus. In Barrett's
the lining of the esophagus is so badly damaged that a new lining is formed.
The changes in the cells lining the esophagus pose an increased risk for esophageal cancer.
What are the risks to others?
Esophagitis itself is not contagious and poses no risk to others. If the cause
is an infection, such as herpes
simplex, the infection may be contagious.