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Eosinophilia: Definition, Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

eosinophilia and systemic symptoms

Eosinophilia, a condition marked by elevated levels of eosinophils in the blood, often serves as a crucial diagnostic clue in various medical contexts. While eosinophils play a vital role in the immune system’s response to allergens and parasites, their abnormal elevation can signal underlying health issues.

This blog explores the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for eosinophilia, shedding light on this intriguing medical phenomenon.

What is Eosinophilia?

Eosinophilia is characterised by an excess of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in the blood, typically exceeding the normal threshold of 500 eosinophils per microliter.

Eosinophils are integral to immune function, contributing significantly to defence against allergens and protection against fungal and parasitic infections.

Factors such as certain medical conditions and medication usage can provoke an elevation in eosinophil levels.

What are Normal and Elevated Eosinophil Levels?

Normal Eosinophil Levels

Normal eosinophil levels typically range from 0 to 0.5 × 10^9 cells per litre of blood. White blood cells known as eosinophils are part of the immune system that fights allergies and parasites.

Elevated Eosinophil Levels

Elevated eosinophil levels, known as eosinophilia, occur when there are more than 0.5 × 10^9 eosinophils per litre of blood. Causes include allergies, asthma, parasitic infections, certain medications, autoimmune diseases, and some types of cancer.

Symptoms vary depending on the underlying cause but may include skin rashes, difficulty breathing, abdominal pain, and fatigue. Further evaluation is needed to determine the specific cause.

What are the Symptoms of Eosinophilia?

Symptoms of eosinophilia can vary depending on the underlying cause, but they may include:

  • Fever: Linked to infections or inflammation.
  • Fatigue: Common, especially with underlying illnesses.
  • Skin issues: Rashes, hives, or lesions may indicate allergic reactions or parasitic infections.
  • Respiratory symptoms: Coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath, often associated with asthma.
  • Gastrointestinal problems: Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting, particularly with parasitic infections.
  • Muscle pain: Weakness, especially with inflammatory disorders like eosinophilic myositis.
  • Swelling: Of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, indicative of allergic reactions.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes: Notable, suggesting an underlying infection.
  • Other symptoms: Dependent on the cause, such as itching and abdominal pain with parasitic infections. Consultation with a doctor is essential for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Eosinophilia isn’t a disease but a sign of underlying issues. Seek medical help if symptoms arise for evaluation and diagnosis.

You Can Also Read: Your Guide to Epilepsy

What Are the Causes of Eosinophilia?

Elevated eosinophil counts in blood can stem from various factors:

  • Common triggers include seasonal allergies, asthma, and medication reactions, typically not severe.
  • Infections, especially from parasites, can induce eosinophilia.
  • Immune dysregulation, like autoimmune diseases (e.g., inflammatory bowel disease, myocarditis, vasculitis, and sarcoidosis), may contribute.
  • Blood cancers produce these cells improperly and hereditary genetic alterations are other causes of eosinophilia.

What Can Happen if Eosinophil Counts Are High?

Eosinophils trigger inflammation, leading to eosinophilic disorders, such as:

  • Eosinophilic cystitis (affects the bladder)
  • Eosinophilic fasciitis (impacts connective tissue)
  • Eosinophilic pneumonia (involves the lungs)
  • Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGID) (includes disorders affecting the oesophagus, colon, stomach, and small intestine) 

Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Churg-Strauss syndrome) affects multiple organs like the lungs and heart. 

Hypereosinophilic syndrome is rare but serious. It involves persistently high eosinophil levels and impacts the heart, central nervous system, skin, and respiratory tract.

How is Eosinophilia Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of eosinophilia typically involves several steps:

  • Medical history: The healthcare provider reviews medical history, symptoms, medications, and past conditions.
  • Physical examination:  Physical exam checks for eosinophilia-related signs like rashes, respiratory issues, or GI symptoms.
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC):  A Complete Blood Count (CBC) measures blood cell types, indicating eosinophilia if eosinophil count is elevated (usually >500-600 cells/µL) or if eosinophils % is high.
  • Other laboratory tests: Further tests may include organ function assessment, allergy evaluation, parasitic infection screening, or autoimmune disease identification.
  • Imaging studies: Imaging studies (X-rays, CT scans, MRIs) detect organ/tissue abnormalities linked to eosinophilia.
  • Tissue biopsy: In some cases, a tissue biopsy (skin, lung, GI tract, bone marrow) confirms the diagnosis and determines the underlying cause.

Treatment hinges on identifying eosinophilia’s cause and addressing underlying conditions like allergies, parasitic infections, autoimmune diseases, or malignancies.

You Can Also Read: Everything You Must Know about Subdural Hematoma.

What is the Treatment for Eosinophilia?

Treatment for eosinophilia depends on its cause, including allergies, infections, autoimmune diseases, medications, or cancers. Identifying and treating the underlying condition is essential.

Here are some common approaches to treating eosinophilia:

  • Treating underlying conditions: Address allergies with antihistamines or combat parasitic infections using anti-parasitic medications.
  • Corticosteroids: Prescribed for severe cases of autoimmune-related eosinophilia to suppress inflammation.
  • Immunosuppressive therapy: Essential for autoimmune diseases causing eosinophilia.
  • Avoidance of triggers: Crucial for preventing eosinophilia recurrence linked to allergies or environmental factors.
  • Specific treatments for disorders: Tailored approaches for conditions like hypereosinophilic syndrome or eosinophilic esophagitis, involving targeted medications or procedures.

Close collaboration with healthcare providers is essential for eosinophilia management, including determining the cause, developing treatment plans, and monitoring eosinophil levels.


Eosinophilia, while often a sign of underlying conditions, requires thorough evaluation and management. Understanding its causes, symptoms, and treatment options is crucial for effective patient care and outcomes. It is always advisable to seek medical help from an experienced general physician. Timely care and help can ensure an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of your condition. 

At the CK Birla Hospital, we ensure patients get holistic medical support which includes treatment in a compassionate environment. This patient-centric approach not only helps patients heal better but also ensures they are aware of the preventive measures as well. In case you need to consult a general physician, reach out to us, or book a direct appointment at the CK Birla Hospital.


Is Eosinophilia a Common Condition? 

Eosinophilia, an elevated level of eosinophils in the blood, can occur in various conditions like allergies, infections, and autoimmune diseases, but it’s not considered a common condition overall.

Can Eosinophilia be Cured?

Treating the underlying cause of eosinophilia, such as allergies, infections, or autoimmune disorders, can lead to resolution. However, a complete cure depends on addressing the specific condition causing eosinophilia.

Are There Natural Remedies for Eosinophilia?

Natural remedies like dietary changes, herbal supplements (such as turmeric or ginger), probiotics, and managing allergies through avoidance can help alleviate symptoms, but consulting a healthcare professional is advised.

How does Eosinophilia Affect Overall Health?

Eosinophilia, an increase in eosinophils in the blood, may indicate allergic reactions, infections, or autoimmune disorders. Its impact on overall health varies based on underlying conditions, potentially affecting immune function and organ systems.

What are the Long-term Effects of Eosinophilia?

Long-term effects of eosinophilia depend on underlying causes but may include chronic inflammation, tissue damage, and organ dysfunction, impacting respiratory, gastrointestinal, and cardiovascular systems among others.

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