What is IgE Allergy Testing?
Last Updated: 10th November 2022 · Written by Kate Young
What is an IgE Allergy Test?
With so many options for allergy testing, it can be hard to figure out which kind you should go for. You may have come across the term ‘IgE allergy testing’ here and there but aren’t sure what it means. We’re here to clear up the confusion.
What does IgE mean?
An IgE allergy test is a scientifically proven allergy test that uses a blood sample to determine if you have an allergy to certain substances. It tests for the antibody immunoglobin E (IgE), after exposing the sample to certain substances. If the patient is suffering from an allergy, the antibody will become present. The higher the levels of IgE, the more likely you are suffering from an allergy.
Not all Allergy Tests will Test for IgE
First of all, not all allergy tests are IgE allergy tests. The allergy test that doctors prefer to perform – the skin prick test doesn’t test for Immunoglobin E. This test only looks for a visual response on the surface of the skin – after puncturing suspected allergens into the skin. Although the reaction is caused by IgE antibodies, it doesn’t detect IgE’s for certain. While not all allergy tests are IgE, blood allergy tests are usually IgE allergy tests.
Pros of IgE over other Allergy Tests
One of the main benefits of IgE allergy testing over traditional skin-prick testing is that there is no risk of a reaction during testing. Because the patient doesn’t come into contact with any allergens during testing, there’s virtually no chance of adverse reactions occurring or skin reactions developing. There’s also the benefit of only 1-3 punctures needed for the sample to be taken with IgE allergy testing. That’s a much lower puncture count compared to skin-prick testing which would require a puncture for each allergen tested.
IgE allergy testing is an excellent choice for people wanting an allergy test, without a trip to the doctors. It’s convenient, safe and can be done from the comfort of your own home.