©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Symptoms and Signs of Esophagitis

Doctor's Notes on Esophagitis

Esophagitis is inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, the muscular tube leading from the back of the throat into the stomach. It is caused by infection by bacteria, viruses, or fungi, or irritation of the inner lining (mucosa) of the esophagus. If esophagitis is not promptly diagnosed or treated, it can lead to problems with swallowing, ulcers, scarring of the esophagus, or a condition called "Barrett's esophagus," which can lead to esophageal cancer.

Symptoms of esophagitis may include difficult and/or painful swallowing, heartburn, acid reflux, unpleasant taste in mouth, sore throat, hoarseness, mouth sores, nausea, vomiting, indigestion, chest pain (in the middle of the chest, often radiating to the back, usually associated with swallowing or soon after a meal), bad breath, and excessive belching.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.