The best way to treat your allergy symptoms is to schedule allergy testing to determine their exact cause.
Blood Testing for Allergies
A blood test measures how much of an allergen-specific antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE), is in your blood. The more allergen-specific IgE in your blood, the more likely you are to be allergic.
The most common blood test is a radioallergosorbent (RAST) test. It screens for common allergy triggers such as pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander. RAST is the preferred testing method for infants and children. It is less expensive and results take longer since an outside lab is involved.
Blood tests are typically used to confirm the results of a skin test; they may also be used instead of skin tests if a serious allergy makes skin testing unsafe.
When Is Blood Testing Preferred Over Skin Testing?
Some medications and conditions make blood testing preferable because blood testing doesn’t expose a patient to allergens. Medicines on that list include antihistamines, steroids and antidepressants. People with life-threatening allergies, skin conditions, asthma or heart conditions may all be better candidates for a blood test.
Pulmonary Function Tests
Pulmonary function tests are used to determine how well your lungs are working. They are typically completed in addition to allergy tests. The three main tests are spirometry, plethysmography and diffusion capacity. Spirometry measures the amount of air you breathe in and out by breathing into a machine. Plethysmography measures your lung volume, or the amount of gas in your lungs, by having you stand in a small booth and breathe into a mouthpiece. The diffusion capacity test evaluates how well the small air sacs within your lungs work by having you breathe in certain gases and breathing out into a machine.
Call us for more information or to schedule an appointment.
Call Benke Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic at (817) 641-3750 for more information or to schedule an appointment.