Although, allergy clinics are the best source of getting information about your allergies and getting rid of them but I guess it is important to know what allergies can be detected through blood tests to make things easier.
What Are Allergies
Allergies are basically a source of increment in certain types of white blood cells in your body and your blood in tests specify the number of white blood cells and the allergens. Allergens are responsible for causing any allergy in your body with symptoms of constant sneezing, irritation, teary eyes, scratching at some particular place, wheezing, and so on. However, there could be many other symptoms too for allergies so you cannot completely rely on just count of white blood cells.
Types of Allergy Blood Tests
Allergy blood tests are generally used to detect triggers for ten types of common allergies which include dust, weeds, trees, grass, molds, and pet dander in your residing location while these tests are most helpful for food allergies.
There are basically two types of allergy blood tests:
- Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA or EIA)
- Radioallergosorbent test (RAST)
ELISA is used to measure the amount of allergen in your blood while RAST detects specific allergen related antibodies to get to know about your allergy triggers. Immunoglobulin (IgE) is a type of antibody associated with allergic reactions and allergy blood tests measures the amount of allergen specific IgE in your blood which can detect the allergy to any particular substance. Allergy blood tests usually look for the amount of allergens and the specific antibodies in your blood causing the irritation and wheezing in your body. The process works as whenever you come in contact with any allergen, your body start making antibodies against it to make your body able to fight with it. However, there are some other tests as well that measure the release of chemicals resulting from allergies which are responsible for allergic reactions. These tests can’t detect other serious swellings like aneurysm.
The best part of allergy blood test is that it can be done anytime with no concern of any medication you are taking. Also, people get attracted from it more than skin allergy test because it includes only one needle prick which reduces your pain as well. However, allergy blood tests are a bit more expensive than skin allergy tests and maybe less sensitive as well. Also, blood allergy tests take time for final results which is not the case with skin allergy tests where you get immediate results.
How Does Results Of Allergy Blood Tests Works?
The results of allergy blood tests are dependent on your IgE levels which are if higher than normal level shows the signs of some kind of allergy in your body. Generally, ELISA test tells exactly what you are allergic to and then your specialist may recommend you the desired treatment either with medication or some precautionary measures. However, if you are tested negative as a result of these blood tests then it shows that you are not truly allergic to anything or your immune system probably did not respond to the allergens tested.
The tricky part is that your specialist has to interpret the allergy blood tests for a proper answer and treatment. Also, it is your specialist’s responsibility to check all your symptoms and match them with your medical history and current blood tests while diagnosing any kind of allergies. After all this analysis, treatment and medication is prescribed to treat your allergies.
Why Not Opting For Skin Test for Allergies?
This is a common question many people ask when they are prescribed for allergy blood tests as skin allergy tests are more common and preferred. But the reasons for not opting skin allergy tests are that a patient might be suffering from some other diseases which cannot tolerate skin tests. For instance, skin tests are not at all recommended for heart patients having unstable heart condition frequently, asthma patients who frequently get attacks, people having severe eczema or dermatitis or any severe skin condition or people having a history of chronic allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Skin allergy tests might be life threatening in all of these health conditions in which allergy specialists Germantown always prefer allergy blood tests for their patients.