Often, our doctors order different blood tests that we do not understand. That is why today, we chose to discuss one blood test that is commonly ordered. In the following article, we will discuss all of the basic information that you need to know about an IgE blood test.
What is an IgE blood test?
In order to protect us, our immune system produces antibodies. There are different types of antibodies produced at different times in our lives. One group of antibodies are known as IgE (Immunoglobulin E) antibodies. Normally, IgE antibodies are found in small traces in our blood. However, whenever there is an allergic reaction to any allergens such as dust mites or pollen, for example, high levels of IgE antibodies are measured in our blood. An IgE blood test measures the levels of the IgE antibodies in the blood.
Why is this test done?
An IgE blood test is ordered by an allergist whenever there is a reason to believe that the patient is experiencing an allergic reaction to any type of food, mold, dust mites, pollen, medicine, etc. The IgE blood test can be used alone to confirm the suspicion of an allergic reaction, or it can be done along with a skin-prick test.
Usually, the IgE blood test is done when a skin-prick test is not listed as an option. It is usually among young patients such as children that an IgE blood test is considered to be a better option as compared to the skin-prick test.
How is an IgE blood test performed?
The IgE blood test is not that much different as compared to any other blood test. It involves a procedure during which a medical healthcare professional will clean the skin area with some alcohol before applying an elastic band above that very same area. Next, a sterile needle will be used to collect a blood sample.
The blood sample is delivered to the laboratory where a machine is used to measure the IgE antibodies levels in the blood. It may take a few days for the patient to get their results. Later, the allergist analyzes the results and prescribes therapy if needed.
What do the test results mean?
If the results show increased levels of IgE antibodies in the blood, that indicates that one or more allergens have caused an allergic reaction, and an allergic process is likely to present. If the levels are normal, it is less likely that an allergic process is present. The IgE antibodies levels may also be below the normal ranges, which can mean that there is an allergy that has not reflected on the levels of IgE antibodies.
The IgE blood test, not much different from any other blood test, is a test that is being used to measure the exact levels of IgE antibodies present in the blood. With the help of this blood test, a clear diagnosis of an allergic reaction to the exact allergen can be made. Later, the proper therapy will be prescribed, helping the patient to get through the present symptoms without them affecting his/her everyday life too much.