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Simple Eosinophilic Pneumonia


What is simple eosinophilic pneumonia?

Simple eosinophilic pneumonia is caused by lung inflammation. Eosinophils irritate your lung tissues, making them inflamed and swollen. Eosinophils are white blood cells that your body uses to fight allergies and parasites. Simple eosinophilic pneumonia is also called Loffler syndrome or pulmonary eosinophilia.

What causes simple eosinophilic pneumonia?

  • Parasites such as round worms and hookworms grow, live, and feed within your body. They move from one part of your body to another during the stages of their life. Lung problems occur because your body tries to fight these parasites when they move into your lungs.
  • An allergic reaction to medicines, even medicines you have used for weeks or months, can cause eosinophilic pneumonia. This may include medicines used to treat pain, seizures, heart problems, or infections. It may also occur with the use of street drugs, such as heroin or cocaine.

What are the signs and symptoms of simple eosinophilic pneumonia?

  • Fever
  • A cough that may produce mucus or bloody mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Generally not feeling well
  • Fast breathing
  • Trouble breathing, such as wheezing or shortness of breath

How is simple eosinophilic pneumonia diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical, travel, and drug history. He will ask about any medicines you take or have taken in the past. He will also do a physical exam. You may need any of the following:

  • Blood tests may be used to find what is causing your symptoms.
  • X-ray pictures of your lungs may help show signs of infection and how well your lungs are working.
  • A sputum sample may be tested for the germ that is causing your illness. It can also help your healthcare provider choose the best medicine to treat the infection.
  • A bronchoscopy is a procedure to look inside your airway and learn the cause of your airway or lung condition. A bronchoscope (thin tube with a light) is inserted into your mouth and moved down your throat to your airway. You may be given medicine to numb your throat and help you relax during the procedure. Tissue and fluid may be collected from your airway or lungs to be tested.
  • A bowel movement sample may be tested for parasites.

How is simple eosinophilic pneumonia treated?

Treatment will depend on the cause of your condition. Simple eosinophilic pneumonia may go away on its own within a few weeks. You may be given steroid medicine. You may need medicine to treat an infection caused by parasites. You may need to stop taking a medicine if it could have caused your pneumonia.

What can I do to manage simple eosinophilic pneumonia?

  • Clear your airway often. Deep breathing helps open the air passages in your lungs. Coughing helps bring up mucus from your lungs. Take a deep breath and hold the breath as long as you can. Then push the air out of your lungs with a deep, strong cough. Take 10 deep breaths in a row every hour that you are awake. Remember to follow each deep breath with a cough.
  • Do not smoke. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
  • Avoid things that irritate your lungs. Air pollution and smoke from fireplaces or forest fires in your area may also make it harder for you to breathe. Stay inside, or cover your mouth and nose with a scarf when you go outside during cold weather. Do not let anyone smoke around you.
  • Drink more liquids. Liquids help keep your air passages moist. Liquids can also help your lungs get rid of germs and other irritants. Ask your healthcare provider how much liquid you should drink each day and which liquids are best for you.
  • Get plenty of rest. You may feel like resting more. Slowly start to do more each day. Rest when you feel it is needed.
  • Use a cool mist humidifier or vaporizer. These increase air moisture in your home and can make it easier for you to breathe. Wash the humidifier each day with soap and warm water to keep it free from germs. Let the humidifier air dry before you use it again.
  • Do not drink alcohol. Alcohol dulls your urge to cough and sneeze. You need to cough and sneeze to clear your air passages. Mucus in your lungs may also become thicker and harder to cough up.
  • Ask about flu and pneumonia vaccines. The flu and pneumonia can become serious in a person who has simple eosinophilic pneumonia. Ask your healthcare provider about the flu and pneumonia vaccines. All adults should get the flu (influenza) vaccine every year as soon as it becomes available. The pneumonia vaccine is given to adults aged 65 or older to prevent pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia. Adults aged 19 to 64 years who are at high risk for pneumococcal disease also should get the pneumococcal vaccine. It may need to be repeated 1 or 5 years later.

When should I seek immediate care?

  • Your symptoms are getting worse or coming back.
  • You have sudden trouble breathing.

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You have a fever.
  • Your skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
  • Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.