Eosinophilic asthma (EA) is both similar to and different from the familiar childhood form of asthma. Common corticosteroid inhalers alone may not work on EA. Flares may come on suddenly for no obvious reason.
EA is often severe. People who have the disease have high levels of eosinophils, white blood cells that normally help defend your body from infections and other invaders.
The flood of eosinophils swells your whole respiratory system, from your sinuses down to your lungs. That narrows your air passageways and leaves you panting for breath. It also can make you wheeze and cough. Notable traits of EA are that it:
- Happens mostly in adults
- Usually isn’t caused by allergies
- Affects your entire respiratory system
- May not respond to corticosteroids alone, the main medication for asthma