Health Tip: Understanding Allergy Blood Testing

(HealthDay News) -- Allergy testing may be recommended for people who suspect they react to allergens such as animal dander, food, dust or pollen.

When you have an allergy, your immune system treats this type of harmless substance as a threat. To fight this perceived threat, your immune system makes antibodies called immunoglobulin E (IgE), the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

Measuring the levels of IgE antibodies in your blood may indicate how sensitive you are to specific allergens.

Symptoms of an allergy commonly include: stuffy nose, sneezing and watery eyes. Signs of a more serious reaction may include trouble breathing or vomiting.

Testing your blood involves taking a sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. This usually takes less than five minutes.

The results of this testing can help your doctor recommend a treatment plan, which could include allergy shots that ultimately make you less sensitive to the things to which you react.

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