When is the best time to test for indoor or outdoor allergies?

In general, IgE antibodies can be measured at any time, so when you choose to test is up to you. However, the level of IgE concentration in your blood can certainly change based on timing or exposure to the allergen. Below is a little more guidance based on your reason for testing.

If you’re experiencing symptoms

If you’re currently experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, running nose, watery/itchy eyes, or cough, we recommend collecting your sample right away, as you may have recently been exposed. If you’re experiencing severe symptoms, such as hives, fever, or vomiting, we recommend you speak directly with your healthcare provider. While this test alone can’t diagnose an allergy, it can help you identify if your symptoms are allergy mediated.

If you have seasonal symptoms

If you experience seasonal symptoms and want to see if they’re caused by outdoor allergens, such as grasses, trees, or weeds, we recommend collecting your sample during the time of year when symptoms tend to occur. Pollen counts are also available online, but that may be more useful once you’ve determined which allergens are causing unwanted symptoms, so you can plan ahead and limit your exposure.

If you have asthma

If you were previously diagnosed with asthma, testing for allergies can be a precautionary measure because exposure to allergens can increase asthma symptoms or trigger asthma attacks.

If you’re on allergy shots or immunotherapy

If you were previously diagnosed with an environmental allergy and are on immunotherapy or allergy shots to reduce IgE reactivity, this test can help you see if your treatment plan is working. We recommend taking a closer look at the allergens tested in this panel to make sure the allergy you were diagnosed with is included. You may also want to speak with your healthcare provider about the timing or frequency of testing because it can take up to 12 months for immunotherapy to be effective. They may also change the course of your treatment plan if unsuccessful, so we always encourage sharing the results with your healthcare provider to determine the next steps.

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