Pronounced: eh-SIN-oh-feel-iaEn Español (Spanish Version)
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
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Eosinophilia may be caused by an illness to a specific area or an overproduction of these cells. The cause will vary based on 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.
Last reviewedAugust 2013by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.