While asthma varies greatly in types, triggers, and severity, few people know what eosinophilic asthma is and how it works. Although rare (particularly in children), eosinophilic asthma is more severe than other types of asthma because it does not respond well to medication. Take the time to learn about eosinophilic asthma so that you are prepared to maintain it.
What Are Eosinophils?
First things first: what is your body is responsible for eosinophilic asthma? Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell in your body responsible for swelling. Your body uses swelling as a defense mechanism against foreign bacteria, so eosinophils play an important role in protecting you from infection. However, sometimes your eosinophils can malfunction and overcompensate, causing swelling even when there is no danger of infection or parasites.
While normal asthma leads to swollen and inflamed airways, eosinophilic asthma causes your entire respiratory system to swell. When this intense swelling and inflammation occurs in your respiratory system, it makes it difficult to breathe and causes other symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and tightness of the chest.
What Should You Know About Eosinophilic Asthma?
This type of asthma is among the more severe because of its difficulty to treat. While common types of asthma such as allergic, exercise-induced, anxiety-induced, etc. respond to inhalers as a form of treatment. Eosinophilic usually does not respond to inhalers, even in large doses. Instead, individuals who suffer from eosinophilic asthma typically have to take corticosteroid pills. Unfortunately, corticosteroid pills come with side effects such as increased swelling in the lower legs, high blood pressure, confusion, and more.
Additionally, the internal nature of this type of asthma means that attacks are much more likely. After all, an individual with allergic asthma can avoid flare-ups simply by avoiding their allergic triggers. When the trigger is inside your body, your control is limited over your body’s response.
The good news is that eosinophilic asthma is rare, especially in children. Typically, it is developed by adults, though studies are still being conducted as to exactly why.
How to Maintain Your Eosinophilic Asthma
Although it may be more severe, you can maintain eosinophilic asthma much the same way you would maintain a more common type of asthma.
Regular Lung Testing
Taking spirometry tests both at home and at the doctor is extremely important when it comes to controlling your asthma. Not only do your test results indicate whether your lung health is improving or declining, but they also help you spot correlations between flare-ups and attacks. Make sure you write down your test scores and take your at-home lung test at least every other day.
Asthma Attack Action Plan
Likewise, record your test results inside your asthma attack action plan. This plan simply tracks your symptoms, triggers, flare-ups, test results, medications, etc. It ensures that you know exactly how to respond, who to contact, and what medication to take in the event of an asthma attack. Additionally, it keeps track of important data that your primary care physician can use to improve your level of care.
Communication with Physician
No matter what type of asthma you have, make sure you stay in constant contact with your doctor. Keeping everyone on the same page is vital, especially when it comes to more severe lung conditions.
Careful Monitoring of Medication
Finally, keep careful tabs on your medication, whether an inhaler or an oral corticosteroid. Always keep your medication with you. Proper preparation empowers you against your asthma.