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What level of eosinophils is dangerous?

Understanding the significance of elevated or decreased eosinophil levels helps identify potential health issues requiring attention.

  • 28 Nov 2023
  • 3 min read
  • 231 views

Eosinophils are unique white blood cells that support your immune system. They are part of a group called granulocytes and contain tiny granules packed with various chemicals and enzymes. These granules help eosinophils destroy or neutralise foreign invaders.

 

Eosinophils are formed exclusively in the bone marrow from stem cells and remain there for a week before maturing. Once in the bloodstream, they circulate briefly before entering various body tissues. Eosinophils are mainly found in the gastrointestinal tract, skin, lungs, and lymph nodes, where they survive for several days or weeks. 

 

However, too many or too few eosinophils in the body can indicate an underlying health problem. So, what level of eosinophils is dangerous? Let’s find out.

 

What is a dangerously high eosinophil count?

A high eosinophil count can vary and depends on the laboratory and the person's age and health. A count of over 500 eosinophils per microlitre of blood is considered high. However, some individuals may have higher or lower eosinophil levels without symptoms or problems.

 

A high eosinophil level can cause various symptoms. Again, this depends on where the eosinophils accumulate in the body. Some common symptoms of high eosinophil levels include:



  • Swelling or redness of the skin
  • Itching or hives
  • Trouble breathing or wheezing
  • Coughing or sneezing
  • Abdominal pain or diarrhoea
  • Fever or fatigue

 

A high eosinophil count can also damage the organs and tissues over time. The most affected are the lungs, heart, liver, and nerves. This condition can contribute to severe problems, such as:



  • Asthma attacks or lung scarring
  • Heart failure or inflammation
  • Liver damage or cirrhosis
  • Nerve damage or numbness
  • Blood clots or bleeding

 

Conversely, a count of less than 100 eosinophils per microlitre of blood is below the normal range. Those with low eosinophil counts are at an increased risk of certain health conditions, such as heart failure.

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Conclusion

If your eosinophil count is high, consult a doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment. The treatment plan depends on what's causing the high count. The doctor may recommend avoiding things that could increase the count, such as taking medicines to reduce inflammation and fight parasites. The doctor may advise getting chemotherapy or radiation therapy if it is cancer.

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