White blood cells play a crucial role in the immune system and the body. They are essential for shielding the body from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. All five types of white blood cells that the body needs are created in the bone marrow.
White blood cells can survive for several hours to several days in the bloodstream. Eosinophils are a subset of white blood cells. The body stores eosinophils in tissues where they can remain for a few weeks. White blood cell production in the body is continuously replenished by bone marrow.
Doctors can better assess your health when they know the number and type of each white blood cell in your body. Increased white blood cell counts in the blood can be a sign of illness or infection. When levels are high, the body typically produces more white blood cells to fight infections. A blood test called an eosinophil count counts the number of eosinophils in the body. During a routine complete blood count (CBC) test, abnormal eosinophil levels are frequently discovered.
A growing number of functions performed by eosinophils are being revealed by ongoing research. It now seems that eosinophils play a role in almost all of the body’s systems. The immune system performs two critical tasks. Eosinophils eliminate invasive bacteria, viruses, or parasites like hookworms. They play a part in the inflammatory reaction as well, especially when an allergy is present.
Inflammation has no good or bad effects. They aid in the isolation of the immune response at an infection site and its control. Damage to the surrounding tissue is a side effect, though. Immune responses known as allergies frequently involve chronic inflammation. Eosinophils are crucial in the inflammation brought on by allergies, eczema, and asthma.
The need for eosinophil count
When the white blood count difference is used, doctors might find abnormal eosinophil levels. The white blood count difference test, which calculates each percentage of white blood cells in the blood, is typically performed in conjunction with the complete blood count. This test will reveal whether your white blood cell count is abnormally high or low. White blood cell counts may vary depending on the disease.
In cases of certain illnesses or conditions, such as those involving severe allergic reactions, drug reactions, or parasitic infections, a doctor may administer this test. For this test, no special preparation is needed. Drugs that thin the blood should only be used under a doctor’s supervision.
In adults, less than 500 eosinophil cells per microliter of blood are considered normal. Children’s eosinophil counts change with age.
More than 500 eosinophil cells per microliter of blood is a sign of the eosinophilia disorder. Leukemia and other cancers, immune system disorders, severe allergic reactions, eczema, asthma, seasonal allergies, ulcerative colitis, scarlet fever, Crohn’s disease, drug reaction, and organ transplant rejection are a few possible causes.
Alcohol intoxication or excessive cortisol production, such as in Cushing’s disease, can lead to an abnormally low eosinophil count. The body naturally produces the hormone cortisol. The time of day may also affect low eosinophil counts. The eosinophil count is typically lowest in the morning and highest in the evening. Unless alcohol abuse or Cushing’s disease is suspected and other white cell counts are abnormally low, low levels of eosinophils are typically not a cause for concern. Low total white cell counts could indicate a problem with the bone marrow.
Like with any blood test, there is a slight chance of some minor bruising where the needle was inserted. Rarely, the vein may enlarge following blood withdrawal. Phlebitis is the term for this. Applying a warm compress several times per day can treat this condition. If a parasitic infection or allergy is present, the doctor will recommend a short-term treatment to alleviate symptoms and restore a normal white blood cell count.
The doctor might order additional testing to determine the specific disease if the eosinophil count suggests an immune system disorder. High levels of eosinophils can result from a wide range of other conditions.