Causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of eosinophilic asthma

Causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of eosinophilic asthma

Asthma is a common condition, with over 25 million people in the country dealing with a form of the disease. About 15% of them may experience severe asthma symptoms that are challenging to manage with standard treatments. Eosinophilic asthma is one of the top causes of severe asthma. This type is associated with high levels of white blood cells called eosinophils. Here is what one should know about the condition:

Eosinophilic asthma develops due to an elevated number of eosinophils, which are white blood cells that help the immune system fight infections. It is unclear what actually causes a surge in the eosinophil count. Some forms of asthma are triggered by allergic responses to common allergens like pet dander, mold, mildew, and pollen. However, this does not seem to cause eosinophilic asthma, as many people with the condition do not have any allergies. Experts believe that such an eosinophilic disorder can either develop both on its own as a primary disorder or as a reaction to another condition as a secondary disorder. Further, a spike in eosinophils can develop when the body is fighting against a parasitic infection. Nevertheless, more research is required to understand the exact causes.

Most symptoms associated with eosinophilic asthma are the same as those of other forms of asthma. So, those affected may exhibit signs like:

– Wheezing
– Shortness of breath
– Coughing
– Tightness in the chest

Additionally, eosinophilic asthma can cause a few unique symptoms like:

– Nasal polyps
– Congestion
– Nasal drainage
– Loss of smell
– Enlarged nasal mucous membranes

To diagnose eosinophilic asthma, doctors usually conduct a physical examination, study the clinical history, and conduct multiple lab tests for confirmation. So, first, the doctor will ask the patient about their symptoms, especially the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Next, they will conduct a physical examination, during which they will try to listen to the breathing to assess the airflow in the lungs. Finally, to confirm that one is affected by eosinophilic asthma, doctors may order the following diagnostic tests:

– A bronchial biopsy that involves examining a sample extracted from lung tissue under a microscope
– Microscopic analysis of the sputum sample
– Complete blood count test

Based on the results, doctors may offer an eosinophilic asthma diagnosis and develop a personalized treatment plan for managing the symptoms and reducing the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Appropriate management can help reduce inflammation caused by the condition.