Allergy Blood Tests Help to Diagnose Allergies

Allergy blood tests are not one hundred percent accurate, but because the accuracy rate is high, they are one of several tools that physicians use in diagnosing allergies. The most accurate diagnosis possible will help the physician to decide on the best treatment plan.

Allergy Blood Tests

In an allergy blood test specific allergens are added to samples of the patient's blood. Then the amount of IgE antibody produced is measured. The results are analyzed and a report is sent to the physician.

Advantages of Allergy Blood Tests

There are several advantages to using blood tests in the diagnosis of allergies:

  • Blood tests have a high rate of accuracy and provide detailed information.
  • They can be performed every few years to determine whether or not antibody levels are dropping.
  • Blood tests are less uncomfortable for people who have skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.
  • Sometimes the patient has to continue a specific medication. Blood tests are better in these cases.
  • If the patient has a high potential for a severe reaction during other testing, a blood test is the better option.
  • In the case of a child being tested, a blood test involves only one poke from a needle instead of all the pricks of a skin test.

Disadvantages of Allergy Blood Tests

While blood tests are a useful tool for diagnosing allergies, there are some disadvantages associated with them:

  • Allergy blood tests are not one hundred percent accurate, and the results are highly dependent on the skill level of the person performing and/or evaluating the test.
  • With a lab involved, the cost will be higher for blood tests than for some of the other types of testing.
  • Even though there is less use of a needle than with skin testing, some children have anxiety when having blood drawn.
  • It takes longer to receive the results of a blood test than those of a skin test. Also, a blood test does not show the obvious physical signs that a skin test will.

By weighing the pros and cons, a physician can make a decision about including blood tests as one of the tools to make the best possible diagnosis for the patient. With a good diagnosis in place, the best treatment plan can be developed.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for information purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical attention and supervision.

Further reading: How to Control Allergy and Asthma Triggers at Home

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