Eosinophilic asthma is a subtype of asthma and is a significant concern in the United States. Exact prevalence figures vary, it is estimated that a substantial number of asthma cases in the U.S. fall under the eosinophilic asthma category. This makes it crucial for everyone to know how you can recognize and treat this respiratory disease.
What Is Eosinophilic Asthma?
Eosinophilic asthma is a type of asthma where a certain kind of white blood cell called “eosinophils” plays a big role in causing breathing problems. These eosinophils can make the airways in your lungs swollen and narrow, making it hard to breathe. Let’s break it down step by step:
- Normal airways: in healthy lungs, air moves in and out smoothly through airways, which are like tubes. The airways are relaxed and open, allowing you to breathe easily.
- Eosinophilic asthma: in eosinophilic asthma, there’s a problem. Your immune system, which normally fights off infections and allergies, gets a little too active in your lungs.
- Eosinophil invasion: your immune system sends a type of white blood cell called eosinophils into your airways. These eosinophils are like soldiers, and they go to the airways to fight something they think is harmful, like allergens or irritants.
- Inflammation: the eosinophils release substances that cause inflammation in your airways. Inflammation is like a swelling or irritation, and it narrows the airways, making them smaller.
- Airway tightening: as the airways get swollen and narrower, it becomes harder for air to flow in and out. This leads to common asthma symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
How Is Eosinophilic Asthma Caused?
There are two main types of eosinophilic asthma. This also explains how this type of asthma is caused:
- Allergic Eosinophilic Asthma: this happens when allergies, like pollen or dust, trigger your immune system to produce too many eosinophils, causing asthma symptoms.
- Non-Allergic Eosinophilic Asthma: this type isn’t caused by allergies. It might be because of things like pollution or infections.
Continue reading on the next page and discover, among others, how you can recognize this respiratory disease.