Eosinophils are white blood cells (immune cells) that are responsible for fighting parasites and other invaders in the blood. Normally, eosinophils make up between 1% and 6% of white blood cells. It is possible to determine their concentration in the blood through a blood test. Normal levels of eosinophils vary between 0% and 4%, which is under 350 cells per microliter of blood. An elevated level of eosinophils may indicate that something is wrong. What specifically does a high eosinophil count mean? At OneHowto we will explain.
A high level of eosinophils
The increase in the percentage of eosinophils is generally associated with an allergy, auto-immune disease or parasitic infection. More specifically, it may be the result of:
- Allergic reactions
- A parasitic infection in the intestines or elsewhere (such as worms)
- Collagen vascular disease
- Bone marrow disorders
- Skin inflammation such as dermatitis
- Although this is less common, a high eosinophil level can also indicate the presence of leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
Symptoms of a high level of eosinophils in the blood depends on the cause. A high level of eosinophils on its own wouldn't present any symptoms. This condition is always a sign of another condition or disease. Therefore, treatment will be for the underlying disorder and not for the elevated eosinophils as such.
A low level of eosinophils
A low level of eosinophils i.e. less than 50ml means that your immune system may be significantly weakened. This may be due to:
- Acute allergic reactions
- Reactions after major surgery
- If it occurs during pregnancy, the cause could be eclampsia.
- Diseases affecting the immune system such as HIV.
If your eosinophil level is outside of the normal range, it is best to visit a haematologist for a full examination.
For more information on white blood cells, read our article explaining the reasons for a high white blood cell count.
This article is merely informative, OneHowTo does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to What is the normal range of eosinophils in the blood? , we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.