All of these things could be signs of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), an allergic inflammation of your child’s esophagus (food tube). EoE can be really painful for your child. And it’s challenging when they can’t always tell you why they’re in pain.
At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we’re here to help you understand exactly what’s happening and to find a way to make it better. Our healthcare providers listen carefully to your child’s symptoms and test for every possible cause. You can trust our team to deliver compassionate care and find the right EoE treatment to help your child thrive.
Why Choose Cleveland Clinic Children’s for Eosinophilic Esophagitis Care?
Skilled collaborative providers:
At Cleveland Clinic Children's, your child will get care from many different specialists in one location. Pediatric gastroenterologists (stomach experts), allergists, dietitians and other experienced providers work as a team to treat your child. Meet our team.
We provide high-quality care that’s specifically focused on your child’s unique needs. Our specialists spend several hours with you during your first office visit. You can rely on us for a detailed exam and testing that make you and your child feel heard and involved.
We use the newest, high-definition endoscopy equipment, which lets your child’s provider see the images in real time. This lets us share the results with you right after the procedure. We also do the only pediatric transnasal endoscopy procedure in the area. We don’t have to sedate your child for this minimally invasive procedure, which only takes about 15 minutes. And your child can go home or back to school right after.
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic Children's a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.
We know it can be hard to get a child who’s not feeling well out of the house and to an office visit. That’s why we offer virtual visits with your child’s providers. We want to make treatment as easy and convenient as possible for your child — and for you.
Diagnosing Eosinophilic Esophagitis at Cleveland Clinic Children’s
Your child’s first appointment will take about two hours. During this time, our eosinophilic esophagitis specialists will take the time to listen to you and learn about what your child is experiencing. We want to get to know you and your child and learn about your experience. This helps us really understand what’s going on.
Your child will probably need an upper endoscopy. An endoscopy lets us look inside your child’s esophagus. If they’ve already had one before the appointment, our experts will look over the results. Testing can be scary. We’ll make sure your child feels safe and as comfortable as possible before and during the endoscopy. During the test, we’ll look for anything that doesn’t seem right and take a small tissue sample (biopsy). Our pathologists will look at the tissue sample under a microscope to confirm an EoE diagnosis.
Your child may also get blood tests, allergy tests or swallowing evaluations using X-rays after this first appointment.
Who Treat Eosinophilic Esophagitis
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Treating Eosinophilic Esophagitis at Cleveland Clinic Children’s
We design a personalized treatment plan based on your child’s specific symptoms and diagnosis. EoE usually improves with either medicine or changes to your child’s diet. Surgery can also be a treatment option, but it’s rare. If your child doesn’t respond well to one treatment plan, we’ll work together to figure out something else.
During treatment, we may do more endoscopies and biopsies so we can check to see if the therapies are helping your child’s esophagus. We’ll likely do this until we’ve successfully controlled the condition.
Our gastroenterologists (digestive specialists) know which EoE medications will be most helpful based on your child’s symptoms. Your provider may recommend proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs (drugs that stop their digestive system from making acid), or corticosteroids for more severe EoE. We also offer options, like liquids and inhalers, to make it easier for your child to take the medications. Newer therapies are given by a weekly injection (shot) and can also help with seasonal allergies, asthma and eczema.
Certain foods can often make eosinophilic esophagitis flare up. Our specialized dietitians work with you and your child to figure out what foods make EoE worse. Then we’ll create a unique, healthy diet for your child with food that’ll reduce their discomfort and pain.
If your child is having a lot of trouble swallowing and eating, we may give your child a feeding (PEG) tube. Tube feeding avoids all contact with their esophagus by carrying food in liquid form directly to your child’s stomach.
In rare cases, your child may need a procedure to widen their esophagus. We do this surgery when EoE has caused the esophagus to get dangerously narrow (esophageal stricture). Surgery makes it easier for your child to swallow and keeps food from getting stuck in their esophagus.
Taking the Next Step
We understand how scary a diagnosis of eosinophilic esophagitis can feel for you and how painful it can be for your child. Our EoE team wants to improve your child’s health and keep them growing stronger every day. We also want to put your mind at ease. We’ll work hard to offer treatment options that successfully protect your child from EoE symptoms throughout their lifetime.
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