What is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Woman having Esophagus pain

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic reaction of the food tube to either foods or inhalants. The allergic reaction causes swelling, inflammation and long term scarring of the esophagus, the food tube connecting the mouth and stomach.

According to the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders, eosinophilic esophagitis is a rare disease, but increasing in prevalence with an estimated 1 out of 2,000 people affected.

What are the Symptoms of Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Initially, eosinophilic esophagitis was most often see in infants, but more recently, it’s been seen with increasing frequency in adults.

In the early stages of this condition, patients often experience intermittent episodes of heartburn and reflux.

Over time, the swelling and inflammation from the allergic reaction and irritation may cause difficulty swallowing and occasionally food trapping, where food becomes stuck in the esophagus.

Long term scarring of the esophagus is also possible.

What Foods Cause Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

The foods are most commonly associated with eosinophilic esophagitis include:

  • Dairy
  • Wheat
  • Legumes

Any food has the potential to be associated with this condition.

How is Eosinophilic Esophagitis Diagnosed?

This condition was initially reported in infants but more recently, has been seen with increasing frequency in adults.

A gastroenterologist will take a small biopsy from the esophagus in order to diagnose eosinophilic esophagitis. Newer methods are being developed including blood work and sponge biopsy.

How is Eosinophilic Esophagitis Treated?

Typically, the patients have been treated with anti-reflux medications which are effective in more than 50% of patients. These medications not only suppress acid but also have anti-inflammatory properties.

In more severe cases, patients are treated with a variety of asthma medications. Allergists and gastroenterologists typically work together to create a treatment plan for patients.

The Allergy, Asthma and Immunology physicians at Advanced Specialty Care provide treatments for eosinophilic esophagitis along with other allergy disorders. Allergy and Asthma appointments are available in our Danbury, New Milford, Norwalk and Ridgefield locations. If you have questions about Food Oral Immunotherapy, allergy testing, allergy treatments or would like to schedule an appointment, please call our office at (203) 830-4700 or simply click here to fill out an appointment request form


Topics: Allergy & Asthma, Blog, Dr. Richard Lee