Achalasia is the inability of esophageal muscle to help swallow food. In this condition the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to open to let food pass into the stomach.
The exact causes of achalasia are unknown. However, some possibilities may be:
- Damaged esophageal nerves
- Autoimmune disease
- Consistent difficulty in swallowing liquids and solids
- Backflow of food
- Chest pain or heartburn
- Medication: Some oral medications help in reducing the pressure on the lower sphincter muscle.
- Injection: Sometimes, Botox injections can help to relax the lower sphincter muscle.
- Dilation: With the help of a tube with a balloon, the lower sphincter muscle is stretched and slightly torn to help passage of food.
- Surgery: Can be done laparoscopically by making a cut on the outside layer of the sphincter muscle to help it stay open.