Have you noticed some rashes in your children? Do your children start sneezing right after they step out of home? Well, all these are the symptoms of allergies. When you notice the development of a particular problem occurring again and again, you have to understand that it is an allergy. Most people take allergies lightly. As a result, by the time they take notice of the issue, the damage is already done.
There can be several factors that lead to an allergy. So, whenever you are suffering from an allergy, it is imperative to figure out the actual cause behind it. Besides, people have a myth regarding allergies. Most of you think that only children can have allergies. Well, this is an incorrect statement. Anyone can suffer from allergies at any point in his life. To understand the actual cause of the allergy, one of the best ways is to undergo an allergy test.
Since many of you are not aware of allergy blood testing, we have come up with a blog. In this blog, we will share with you the allergy blood test, the symptoms of an allergy, when you need to undergo this test, and many more. Therefore, without further delay, let’s get started with the details of the blog.
What is allergy blood testing?
The primary purpose of an allergy blood test is to look for antibodies in your blood that have caused the allergy. These particular antibodies are known as immunoglobulin E. When your immunity system responds to the introduction of harmful bacteria or viruses inside your body, it results in the development of antibodies. So, when you have an allergy, your body produces immunoglobulin E as a response to the allergen. Even if it is harmless, your body will produce IgE.
Some of the common allergens that can lead to a type of allergy include pollen grains, duct, latex, insect bites, stings, pet dander, mold, some medications, and some foods and ingredients. In medical terms, such kind of allergy testing is known as the radioallergosorbent test or RAST. This test got its name from the radioactivity that was previously used for this test. However, now, there is no use for radioactivity anymore.
Generally, there are two types of allergy blood tests – total IgE test and specific IgE test. As you can understand from their names, the total IgE test takes the measurement of the total amount of IgE present in your blood. On the other hand, the specific IgE test measures only the allergens that trigger the particular IgE in your blood.
When do you need an allergy test?
Now that you have a detailed idea about the allergy test, it is time to figure out when exactly you need an allergy test. Some of the common symptoms that ask you to undergo an allergy test are given below:
- When you suffer from hay fever due to exposure to pet allergies, pollen, and mold.
- When you have life-threatening allergic reactions due to the reaction to some food or drugs repeatedly.
- When you suffer from contact dermatitis that occurred due to coming in contact with some irritants or chemicals.
Some of the common symptoms of allergy include abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, dry skin, eczema, headache, hives, swelling, red and itchy eyes, watery eyes, vomiting, nausea, shortness of breath, sneezing, skin rash, sore throat, runny nose, wheezing, tightness in the chest and allergic asthma. However, these symptoms will vary from person to person and largely depend on the severity of the allergy.
How to prepare for the allergy test?
First and foremost, in an allergy test, the doctor will collect some blood samples. So, the preparation required for an allergy blood test is very similar to that of any other blood test. In some cases, the healthcare provider may ask you to fast before the test. This is because the presence of any food or caffeinated drinks can hamper the results of the test.
In case you are on medication, make sure to inform the healthcare professional. For the accuracy of the test, the doctor may ask you to stop the medication for a while. Just like any other blood test, here too the healthcare professional will first secure a rubber band tightly on your arm. This will make the vein more visible. Next, he will use a syringe to suck some blood from the vein and collect it in a vial. The whole process will not take more than 10 minutes.
To get the results, you will need to wait for 24 hours. Generally, the lab technician sends the report by a day. The report of the allergy test will determine the kind of treatment you need.
Decoding an allergy blood test report
Generally, everybody has a certain amount of IgE in their blood. However, when there is a hike in the levels of this IgE, you have an allergy. Since different labs make use of different allergy blood test brands, the scoring is sure to differ.
In most cases, 50 to 60 percent of allergy blood tests produce false positive results. This result shows that even though you don’t have an allergy, it detects you to possess an allergy. This happens mostly when your body slightly reacts to certain substances and foods. However, whenever you suffer from an allergy, make sure to consult with a doctor right away. Delaying the treatment process will only aggravate the situation and make it worse.
Advantages and disadvantages of allergy blood testing
One of the primary advantages of allergy blood testing is you can get it done at any time of the day. Besides, you only need one needle stick to perform this test. So, in a way, this stands as a great advantage, especially for people who are afraid of needles.
Regarding the disadvantages, the allergy blood test is slightly more expensive than other tests. However, it is worth every penny.
Therefore, to perform an allergy blood test, you need to go now to a reputed blood test clinic to get accurate results. Make sure to get the test done as soon as possible and start the treatment. Leaving the allergy untreated for a long time can lead to severe complications.