In recent years, the diagnosis of Eosinophilic Oesophagitis is gaining international attention and it is recognised to be a distinct cause of difficulty swallowing, particularly in patients who are male over the age of 30 and have personal or family history of atopy (allergic rhinitis, asthma, eczema, hay fever).
The condition can be difficult to diagnose in some patients and nothing replaces the astute clinical acumen of your treating doctor. Particularly, the recognition of the typical endoscopic changes, the interpretation of histology finding and the clinical presentation all add to the diagnosis. Often, the diagnosis is clinched by histological changes of particular type of inflammatory cells called “Eosinophils”, which are present in higher numbers in the obtained samples for histology.
Equally important is the exclusion of other causes that result in difficulty in swallowing including inlet patches (benign ectopic gastric mucosa in the oesophagus just below the voice box); oesophageal pouches and strictures; and a special condition called Achalasia.
If is is confirmed you have Eosinophilic Oesophagitis, ask your Gastroenterologist about the types of food that you need to avoid, and whether it is safe to drink alcohol. Your Gastroenterologist will also discuss with you about the best treatment options to treat Eosinophilic Oesophagitis. Some patients require a prolonged course of acid suppression or steroid based medicines, some patients will need repeated endoscopies for dilatation of the oesophagus.
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