Eosinophilia is a chronic disorder resulting from excessive production of a particular type of white blood cells. If diagnosed in time and treated in a proper fashion this disorder is curable in most cases and affected persons can lead normal life. Read on for comprehensive information about this disorder. Find information pertaining to Causes of eosinophilia, the recognizable symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
What is Eosinophilia?
Eosinophilia refers to a health condition resulting due to presence of excessive eosinophils (type of white blood cell) in blood or body tissues. Eosinophils are produced in the bone marrow existing normally in the bloodstream and gut lining, which helps the body fight infection from parasitic organisms. On an average around 5% to 7% of white blood cells constitute eosinophils but if you have a higher count then it means that you either have borderline eosinophilia or actual progressing eosinophilia that can cause significant health hazards.
Causes of Eosinophilia
There are a variety of disorders that can cause eosinophilia ranging from simple hay fever to life threatening tumor. Most common cause for eosinophilia are parasitic infections (such as hookworm, schistosomiasis), allergic conditions (such asthma and hey fever) and certain types of drug reactions. Few other rarer causes include:
- Lung diseases (e.g., Loeffler's Syndrome)
- Due to inflammation of blood vessels (e.g., Churg-Strauss syndrome)
- Certain malignant tumors (e.g., lymphoma)
- Due to certain types of antibody deficiencies
- Certain types of skin diseases (e.g., dermatitis herpetiformis), Etc.
Eosinophilia in children is more difficult to diagnose as the range of probable causes is much wider in this case compared to adults.
Symptoms of Eosinophilia
Symptoms of eosinophilia vary based on the underlying conditions. For example, frequent wheezing and breathlessness are symptoms typical to eosinophilia caused due to asthma. In case of eosinophilia due to parasitic infections symptoms may range between abdominal pain, diarrhoea, fever, cough and rashes. Frequent infections, abscesses, pneumonia, mouth sores can also be considered as indicators of eosinophilia. Few other symptoms of eosinophilia include weight loss, night sweats, enlargement of lymph nodes, skin rashes, tingling and numbness due to nerve damage, etc. These symptoms however occur rarely.
How to diagnose Eosinophilia?
Eosinophilia in the bloodstream can be diagnosed by a simple blood test. If problem exists in body tissues then diagnoses will involve examination of the relevant tissue. Your physician performs a biopsy of the relevant tissue in order to diagnose the condition. Certain times a lumber puncture is performed to examine spinal fluid if there are causes to suspect CSF eosinophilia.
Lab studies can be in the following lines:
- A complete blood count may be conducted in order to identify if problem exists
- A spinal fluid examination is carried out in order to diagnose eosinophilia due to worm infections.
- Imaging studies can be carried out via CT scan of the lungs, abdomen, pelvis, etc depending on symptoms and cause of eosinophilia.
How to Treat Eosinophilia?
Once eosinophilia is diagnosed treatment will proceed in lines of trying to identify cause of the disorder. Physician may perform simple skin / blood tests in order to identify the specific allergy causing the problem (such as pollen or dust mite allergy, or any other as may be determined). Parasitic infections can be detected by analyzing blood and stool samples.
Physician may require following information in the course of administering treatment:
- Diet history and details of medication in order to detect any specific allergic reactions
- Information pertaining to travel history to identify if infection occurred due to travel to any infection endemic area.
- Detailed history of symptoms
As part of treatment physician may also carry out detailed examination of skin, eyes, brain, lymph nodes, heart, liver, spleen, intestine, bone and nervous system.
Physician then proceeds with the treatment primarily on lines of reducing symptoms. Initially treatments are mostly oral. A general prescription consists of corticosteroid therapy (beginning with prednisolone both inhaled and topical). Systemic (oral, intramuscular, intravenous) may also be used to treat allergic conditions.
In most cases treatments help to significantly reduce symptoms of eosinophilia enabling persons to lead normal life.
What is Eosinophilia? |
Causes of Eosinophilia |
Symptoms of Eosinophilia |
How to Treat Eosinophilia?
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