Patients with eosinophilic asthma may exhibit poor asthma control, experiencing more frequent and life-threatening asthma attacks. Unlike other forms of asthma, this form may affect the entire respiratory system, not just the lungs.
The symptoms of eosinophilic asthma are similar to those of other kinds of asthma, although they are often too severe and difficult to control with conventional treatments, such as using inhalers. Symptoms can include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Airflow obstruction
- Chest tightness
Additionally, these symptoms are often only associated with eosinophilic asthma (and not other types):
- Chronic rhinosinusitis (sinus infection)
- Congestion and nasal drainage
- Nasal polyps (growths of skin in the sinuses)
- Anosmia (loss of ability to smell)
Some patients with eosinophilic asthma may also develop fatigue, rashes, mouth sores and cognitive symptoms, such as confusion and memory loss (hypereosinophilic syndrome).
What is eosinophilic asthma?
Eosinophilic asthma is a type of asthma caused by the inflammation of the respiratory system. Blood cells called eosinophils are responsible for this swelling.
This type of asthma often starts in adulthood and is difficult to manage. Eosinophils usually help the body fight off parasitic illnesses. However, too many of these blood cells in the bloodstream can result in the secretion of toxic chemicals that inflame the body’s airways and obstruct them with mucus. While other types of asthma only cause swelling in the lungs, eosinophilic asthma affects the entire respiratory system.
Eosinophilic asthma is quite rare. Though experts don’t know the exact prevalence of the condition, estimates say about only 5 percent of asthma sufferers have it. Unfortunately, the cause remains unknown. However, those with eosinophilic asthma do not usually have any disease-related allergies that provoke their symptoms. Many ongoing clinical trials aim to investigate the potential causes of the condition.
What are the treatment options available for eosinophilic asthma?
Eosinophilic asthma has no cure and the effects can be severe. However, several treatment options can help control it, making working with your doctor a vital step in finding a plan that works best for you.
Treatment for eosinophilic asthma can come in the following forms:
- Treatment can come in the form of an inhaler or pill and is usually taken daily for asthma maintenance.
- Because eosinophilic asthma can be resistant to inhalers, corticosteroid pills are more likely to be diagnosed for this condition.
- These rescue medicines are fast-acting inhalers that open your airways quickly if they are swollen and causing trouble breathing.
- Leukotrienes are chemicals in the body that contribute to causing inflammation. These modifiers lessen the effects of leukotrienes and minimize the production of the chemical to prevent asthma attacks and manage symptoms.
- Like corticosteroids, these medications are for asthma maintenance, not for immediate relief during an asthma attack.
- Drugs that are chemically engineered to behave like human antibodies (immune proteins). They are typically used in conjunction with other asthma medications, and are administered by injection or intravenously.
- Biologics that treat eosinophilic asthma block the immune system protein interleukin-5 (IL-5) and lessen the body’s production of eosinophils.
- Biologics that are currently approved for use in the United States include the following:
- Benralizumab: Antibody that binds IL-5 receptors. Recommended for people 12 years and older
- Dupilumab: Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and Interleukin-13 (IL-13) inhibitor and binds to the IL-4 alpha receptor. Recommended for people 12 years and older
- Mepolizumab: An antibody that recognizes and blocks IL-5. Recommended for people six years and older
- Reslizumab: An antibody that recognizes and blocks IL-5. Recommended for people 18 years and older
Although it can be a severe condition, advances in asthma treatment make it possible to manage your eosinophilic asthma. If you have symptoms of this condition, talk to your doctor and keep track of what you think your asthma triggers are so you can find a treatment plan that works best for you. Many treatments and therapies are already underway to improve the lives of eosinophilic asthma sufferers.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
EOSINOPHILIC ASTHMA: https://apfed.org/about-ead/eosinophilic-asthma/
Management of the patient with eosinophilic asthma: a new era begins: https://openres.ersjournals.com/content/1/1/00024-2015
Top What Are the Symptoms of Eosinophilic Asthma Related Articles
Asthma Attack SlidesAsthma symptoms include coughing, wheezing, headache, fatigue, dark circles under the eyes, trouble sleeping, and loss of appetite. Learn asthma signs and symptoms in adults and kids so you can follow your asthma action plan and know when to seek medical care for an asthma emergency.
Asthma and Your Diet: Foods That Help and HurtEven though there's no specific asthma diet that can help your condition, certain foods may help or harm your breathing. Learn the pros and cons of fruits, veggies, fish, and more.
Asthma: Asthma and the WeatherDoes the weather affect your asthma? Find out how heat, cold and thunderstorms can make it hard to breathe -- and what you can do about it.
What Is Asthma? 19 Complex FactsThere are many unusual symptoms of asthma, including sighing, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, chronic cough, recurrent walking pneumonia, and rapid breathing. These symptoms may vary from individual to individual. These asthma complexities make it difficult to accurately diagnose and treat asthma.
Asthma in Children
Asthma in children manifests with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Rates of asthma in children are increasing. Asthma in children is usually diagnosed based on the description of symptoms. Lung function tests may also be used. A variety of medications are used for the treatment of childhood asthma.
Asthma MedicationsThere are two types of asthma medications: long-term control with anti-inflammatory drugs and quick relief from bronchodilators. Asthma medicines may be inhaled using a metered-dose inhaler or nebulizer or they may be taken orally. People with high blood pressure, diabetes, thyroid disease, or heart disease shouldn't take OTC asthma drugs like Primatene Mist and Bronkaid.
AsthmaAsthma is a condition in which hyperreactive airways constrict and result in symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Causes of asthma include genetics, environmental factors, personal history of allergies, and other factors. Asthma is diagnosed by a physician based on a patient's family history and results from lung function tests and other exams. Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and long-acting bronchodilators (LABAs) are used in the treatment of asthma. Generally, the prognosis for a patient with asthma is good. Exposure to allergens found on farms may protect against asthma symptoms.
Asthma QuizAsthma is a chronic disease of the airways of the lungs, which can be managed with proper treatment. Triggered by two main causes, asthma symptoms can be brought on by environmental factors and surprising allergens.
Asthma: Over the Counter TreatmentPatients who have infrequent, mild bouts of asthma attacks may use over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat their asthma symptoms. OTC asthma medicines are limited to epinephrine and ephedrine. These OTC drugs are best used with the guidance of a physician, as there may be side effects and the drugs may not be very effective.
Can Asthma Damage Your Lungs?Asthma inflames the inner lining of the respiratory tubes and tightens the smooth muscles surrounding the airways, and can cause irreversible damage to your lungs if the condition is not controlled well.
How Can I Treat My Child's Asthma at Home?Treatment of a child’s asthma involves following an action plan developed in consultation with your child’s pediatrician. Severe asthmatic attacks require immediate medical attention and treatment at the hospital.
How Long Does Asthmatic Bronchitis Last?The duration of the disease usually depends on the patient’s overall health and age. In patients with acute bronchitis symptoms may last less than 10 days. In patients with severe asthmatic bronchitis, the symptoms are recurrent and usually last between 30 days to even 2 years with flares and remissions.
Natural Ways to Ease Asthma SymptomsYou can do more than take medication to manage your asthma. Several other things can help you breathe more easily.
What Are the Three Types of Asthma?Asthma is a long-term medical condition that causes breathing difficulties due to airway narrowing, airway swelling, and excessive mucus production in the airway. The common types of asthma include nocturnal asthma, exercise-induced asthma or exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, allergic asthma/seasonal asthma, as well as occupational asthma and cough variant asthma.
What Is the Treatment for Asthmatic Bronchitis?Asthmatic bronchitis refers to inflammation of the bronchial tubes carrying air inside the lungs that occurs because of asthma. Treatment for asthmatic bronchitis involves bronchodilators, steroids, treating secretions, leukotriene inhibitors, antibiotics, oxygen administration and avoiding triggers.