Difficulty swallowing and getting food down the esophagus and into your stomach are signs of possible eosinophilic esophagitis. Because the condition is caused by allergies, the team at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates in Tampa and Brandon, Florida, are experts in diagnosing and treating eosinophilic esophagitis. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances are of preventing damage to the esophagus. Call the nearest office today or use the online booking system to request an appointment.
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a chronic disease affecting the esophagus, the tube carrying food from the throat to the stomach. EoE develops when white blood cells (eosinophils) collect in the esophageal lining. When the cells accumulate, they inflame the lining, damaging and scarring the tissues.
EoE is most often caused by an immune system response to food allergies. The immune reaction causes the eosinophils to build up in the esophageal lining. Frequent exposure to your allergens leads to longer-lasting esophageal inflammation and scarring.
Inflammation and scarring narrow the esophagus, causing symptoms like:
Children with EoE often experience nausea, vomiting, tummy pain, and weight loss.
Your provider diagnoses EoE with an upper endoscopy and biopsy. They gently guide a flexible camera-tipped tube through your mouth and throat into the esophagus. The camera sends magnified images to a monitor, allowing them to examine the tissues for signs of inflammation.
Your provider takes tissue samples from the damaged areas. Looking at the tissue under a microscope reveals the presence of eosinophils.
After allergy testing, your provider creates a tailored treatment plan targeting all your allergens. Patients with food allergies must change their diet to eliminate the foods triggering the immune response.
However, you could also have other food sensitivities that contribute to the immune reaction. With careful testing and evaluation of your eating habits, your provider identifies the foods that cause your EoE and creates a diet plan.
As the triggering foods are eliminated, the allergic response stops, and eosinophils in the esophagus disappear.
You could need steroids or biologic medications to reduce the inflammation. If EoE causes severe esophageal narrowing, your provider could recommend an endoscopic procedure to widen the tube.
If you or your child struggles to swallow, seek help right away at Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Associates. Call the nearest office today or connect online to request an appointment.