• Eosinophilia


    Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell. These white blood cells help to protect the body from certain types of infections and are involved in allergic responses. 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 including:
    • Familial eosinophilia—caused by problems in genes that control eosinophil growth
    • Secondary eosinophilia—related to a parasitic infection, autoimmune reaction, allergic, or other inflammatory illnesses
    • Primary eosinophilia—change in production of eosinophils associated with certain leukemias or chronic myeloid disorders such as myelodysplastic syndrome
    White Blood Cells
    White Blood Cells
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


    Eosinophilia may be caused by an illness to a specific area or an overproduction of these cells. The cause will vary based on the type of eosinophilia. Causes include:
    • Allergy diseases, such as asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis
    • Diseases from parasitic worms
    Sometimes the cause of eosinophilia is not known.

    Risk Factors

    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:
      • Wheezing
      • Breathlessness
      Parasitic infection symptoms may include: Medication reaction symptoms may include:
      • Skin rashes
    Rarer symptoms of eosinophilia may include:
    • Weight loss
    • Night sweats
    • Lymph node enlargement
    • Skin rashes
    • Numbness and tingling due to nerve damage


    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a blood specialist.
    Your bodily fluids, tissues, and waste may be tested. This can be done with:
    • A blood test
    • Biopsy
    • Stool tests
    • Bone marrow examination
    Your bodily structures may need to be viewed. This can be done with:


    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.


    There are steps you can take to lower your risk of eosinophilia caused by parasites or allergies:
      Wash your hands often, especially:
      • After using the toilet
      • After changing a diaper
      • Before handling or eating food
      • After contact with animals or soil
      • After contact with infected people
    • Drink safe water. Boil water if you are unsure if it is safe.
    • Avoid swallowing water when swimming in recreational water.
    • Eat safe food. Wash vegetables that will be eaten raw.
    • Drink only pasteurized milk and juice.
    • Use precautions during sexual activity.
    • Avoid allergy triggers.


    American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology http://www.aaaai.org

    American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org


    Allergy Asthma Information Association http://aaia.ca

    Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca


    Eosinophilia. NetDoctor website. Available at: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/diseases/facts/eosinophilia.htm. Updated June 2, 2005. Accessed June 9, 2016.

    Eosinophilia. Patient UK website. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Eosinophilia.htm. Updated March 12, 2014. Accessed June 6, 2016.

    Tefferi A. Blood Eosinophilia: A New Paradigm in Disease Classification, Diagnosis and Treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. January 2005;80(1):75-83.

    Revision Information

  • LiveWell personal health survey

    How healthy are you really? Find out – free.Learn more

    It's time to stop guessing. If you want to make some changes but just aren't sure how, the free personal health survey from LiveWell is a great place to start.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    At risk for a heart attack? Learn more

    Fight heart disease and prevent heart attacks. HeartSHAPE® is a painless, non-invasive test that checks pictures of your heart for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.

  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.