Eosinophilia refers to a higher level of eosinophils in your tissue or body, a condition indicating an allergic reaction, cancer, or parasitic infection. Eosinophils are a kind of disease-fighting white blood cell made in the bone marrow, which gets transferred to different tissues.
The presence of eosinophils in the body plays two different roles in the immune system. These are –
- Regulating inflammation: Promoting inflammation helps isolate and control disease, but it can lead to tissue damage or other complicated symptoms like asthma or allergies when it becomes excessive.
- Destroying foreign substances: Eosinophils can consume foreign particles in the body, which can help fight a parasitic infection.
What are the Types of eosinophilia?
Eosinophilia can be segregated into the following two categories –
- Blood eosinophilia: When you have high levels of eosinophils in the blood, it may be diagnosed through a blood test, usually in the form of a complete blood count. A count exceeding 500 eosinophils per microliter of blood is considered eosinophilia in adults. A count exceeding 1500 for several months is labeled hypereosinophilia.
- Tissue eosinophilia: This results in excess eosinophils in tissues at the site of inflammation or infection. It may be diagnosed by taking samples of certain fluids, like mucus from the nasal tissues. If you have tissue eosinophilia, the presence of eosinophils is likely to be normal in your bloodstream.
What are the symptoms of eosinophilia?
The reason behind the elevated eosinophil count will determine the symptoms associated with eosinophilia. If the eosinophils count is mildly high, you may not experience any symptoms. However, the common symptoms include –
When to consult a doctor?
Eosinophilia is mainly detected when your doctor prescribes any blood test to diagnose any health issue you are currently experiencing. Although it is not an unexpected finding, it is sometimes discovered by chance.
Any evidence of tissue or blood eosinophilia may be advised for further testing to determine the severity of the illness and the underlying cause behind such an occurrence.
If the diagnosis is accurate and you receive proper treatment on time, your eosinophilia problem is likely to get resolved quickly. In the case of hypereosinophilic syndrome, your physician may prescribe corticosteroids. But constant monitoring is required to keep a check on the effectiveness of the treatment.
What are the causes of eosinophilia?
Eosinophilia can be caused by various factors including –
- Allergic reactions
- Skin disorders
- Endocrine disorders
- Fungal and parasitic diseases
- Adrenal conditions
- Autoimmune disorders
Among these, allergic reactions and parasitic diseases are among the common causes of eosinophilia.
Specific diseases can also result in tissue or blood eosinophilia such as –
- Eczema or atopic dermatitis
- Drug allergy
- Hay fever
- Hypereosinophilic syndrome
- Crohn’s disease
- Acute myelogenous leukemia
- Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
What are the available treatment options for eosinophilia?
Like the type of diagnostic test recommended by the physician, the treatment will also be determined by eosinophilia. The various treatment options include –
- Constant monitoring in case of mild eosinophilia with repeat lab tests to determine the level.
- If any specific medicine is causing your eosinophil levels to fluctuate, it might be advised to discontinue it.
- Stepping up the therapies for eczema, allergies, and asthma.
- Anti-parasitic treatment for parasite infections.
- Steroids like prednisone may be recommended for treating hypereosinophilic syndromes.
How to prevent eosinophilia?
Certain precautionary measures can help to reduce the incidence of eosinophilia, including –
- Maintaining proper physical hygiene.
- Avoiding uncooked meat, fish, freshwater prawns, snails, slugs, etc.
- Washing fruits and vegetables properly to avoid parasites.
- Avoiding certain medications that you are allergic to.
- Living in a dust-free and clean environment.
A general preventive measure is to avoid allergens that are known to trigger eosinophilia.
Once the underlying cause of eosinophilia is detected, the doctor will treat the condition responsible for such an occurrence. You will probably be given several tests to help make a proper diagnosis. In some cases, diagnosis and treatment may be required to be carried out by a specialist. Make sure to discuss your present condition with your doctor and other additional complications that might trigger such a problem.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Why do I need an eosinophil count?
The eosinophil or white blood cell count changes can help determine whether you have eosinophilia and its severity. Performing a white blood count differential testing will help your doctor find any white blood count abnormalities. Simultaneously, a complete differential blood count test will help determine the percentage of each white blood cell present in the body.
How can I reduce my eosinophil count?
Among the current therapies to reduce eosinophil count, Glucocorticosteroids are the most effective therapy for reducing eosinophil count in the blood and tissue. However, the effects of corticosteroids on the system can lead to potentially harmful side effects, limiting therapeutic use.
Which is the best food for eosinophilia?
For patients with eosinophilia, the six-food elimination diet (DFED) is the most frequently prescribed dietary therapy. The diet typically follows the exclusion of eggs, soy, nuts, fish, milk, shellfish, and wheat.