| Risk Factors
Eosinophils is a type of white blood cell. These white blood cells help to protect the body from infections. Eosinophils are created in the bone and move through the body in the blood.
Eosinophilia is an abnormally high number of these white blood cells. There may be high levels of eosinophils in the blood, in the tissue, or both. There are several types of eosinophilia based on the cause and symptoms.
White Blood Cells
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Eosinophilia may be caused by an injury or illness to a specific area or an overproduction of these cells. The cause will vary based on type of eosinophilia:
- Familial eosinophilia—caused by problems in genes that control eosinophil growth
- Secondary eosinophilia—related to an infection, autoimmune reaction, or other inflammatory illnesses
- Primary eosinophilia—change in production of eosinophils associated with certain leukemias or chronic myeloid disorders such as myelodysplastic syndrome
- Idiopathic eosinophilia—causes is not clear
A family history increases your chance of familial eosinophilia.
Conditions that increase your chance of secondary eosinophilia include:
Conditions that increase your chance of primary eosinophilia include:
Symptoms of eosinophilia are often those of the underlying condition. For example:
Asthma symptoms may include:
Parasitic infection symptoms may include:
Medicine reaction symptoms may include:
Rarer symptoms of eosinophilia
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Lymph node enlargement
- Skin rashes
- Numbness and tingling due to nerve damage
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a blood specialist.
Eosinophil levels maybe measured through:
Other tests will depend on the underlying condition. Your doctor may order:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Primary and secondary eosinophilia can be managed by treating the underlying cause.
Idiopathic eosinophilia may be treated with corticosteroids. This group of medications can reduce inflammation and decrease the number of eosinophils. Corticosteroids may be taken in inhaled form, topical treatment, pills, or injections.
Cause of eosinophilia is not always clear. As a result, there are no specific steps to prevent eosinophilia.