Decoding IgE Allergy Test: Procedure, Types, and Strategy

Wyndly Care Team
Dedicated to giving everyone incredible care

What does it mean if my IgE levels are high?

High IgE levels generally indicate an allergic reaction or a parasitic infection. In the context of allergies, elevated IgE levels signify that the immune system has overreacted to allergens, such as pollen or dust mites, leading to allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, and wheezing.

Get started
Wyndly Allergy

Lifelong Allergy Relief from Leading Allergy Experts — You In?


What Is an IgE Allergy Test?

An IgE allergy test is a diagnostic tool used to identify whether an individual has allergies. It does so by detecting specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies in the blood that are produced in response to allergens.


The IgE allergy test plays a crucial role in diagnosing allergic conditions. It assesses the presence of IgE antibodies, which are unique proteins involved in allergic reactions. The body generates these antibodies when it encounters substances it's sensitive to, such as pollen, animal dander, or certain foods.

An IgE allergy test can help determine the specific allergen causing an allergic reaction, which is essential for establishing an effective treatment plan. This testing methodology is an integral part of allergen-specific immunotherapy, a treatment strategy recommended by experts to address the root cause of allergies, not just the symptoms. Understanding the role of IgE in allergic reactions can be key to implementing a successful immunotherapy treatment plan, whether you're seeking relief in Iselin, New Jersey, Albany, Georgia, or Erie, Colorado.

How Does an IgE Allergy Test Work?

An IgE allergy test works by measuring the levels of specific IgE antibodies in the blood when exposed to potential allergens. The presence of these antibodies indicates an allergic reaction.

Procedure Details

The procedure for an IgE allergy test is straightforward. A blood sample is collected from the patient and sent to a laboratory. In the lab, the blood is exposed to various potential allergens, and the response is measured. If the blood sample shows a significant increase in IgE antibodies, this indicates an allergic reaction to the tested substance.

While skin testing, such as skin prick tests, is often used for allergy diagnosis, an IgE allergy test can provide more specific information about the allergens triggering the allergic reaction. This information is vital for determining the best type of allergy treatment for the individual. With these insights, you can take the necessary steps towards finding a suitable treatment plan, such as allergy immunotherapy.

What Are the Different Types of IgE Allergy Tests?

There are three main types of IgE allergy tests: in vivo diagnosis (skin tests), in vitro diagnosis, and allergen provocation tests. Each has a unique procedure and provides different insights about the individual's allergic reactions.

In Vivo Diagnosis: Skin Tests

Skin tests, such as the skin prick test, are the most common in vivo diagnosis method for allergies. During this test, a tiny amount of allergen is introduced into the skin using a small, sharp instrument. If the person is allergic to the substance, they will develop a reaction, usually a raised bump, at the site. Understanding how to read your skin test results can help you gauge your sensitivity to specific allergens.

In Vitro Diagnosis

In vitro diagnosis involves laboratory tests that measure the levels of specific IgE antibodies in a blood sample. These tests can provide more detailed information about a person's allergies, including the specific allergens causing reactions and the severity of the person's sensitivity.

Allergen Provocation Test

Allergen provocation tests, also known as challenge tests, expose the patient to a potential allergen under controlled conditions to observe the reaction. This type of test can be helpful when skin and blood tests provide inconclusive results. The test is typically performed in a healthcare setting to ensure patient safety, as it may trigger a significant allergic reaction.

What Is the Diagnostic Strategy for IgE Allergy Test?

The diagnostic strategy for an IgE allergy test involves a systematic approach that starts with a comprehensive patient history and physical examination. This initial step is crucial to identify the possible allergens and guide the selection of subsequent diagnostic tests.

Following the initial assessment, skin tests or in vitro diagnosis are generally conducted. These tests measure the presence of specific IgE antibodies in response to certain allergens. The selection of allergens for testing is often based on the patient's history, geographical location, and common allergens in the local environment.

In some cases, when skin and blood tests offer inconclusive results, an allergen provocation test could be performed. However, due to the potential risks involved, this test is usually reserved for cases when the diagnosis is still unclear despite other tests. The patient's safety is always paramount during these tests. The diagnostic strategy's ultimate aim is to identify the allergens causing the patient's symptoms to recommend the most suitable treatment strategy.

Are There Any Common Questions About IgE Allergy Test?

Yes, there are several common questions about IgE allergy tests. Many patients and their caregivers often have queries about the nature of the test, its procedure, and the interpretation of the results.

  • What does the test involve? An IgE allergy test involves either a skin prick test, a blood test, or in some cases, an allergen provocation test. The test is designed to identify specific allergens causing allergic symptoms.

  • Is the test painful? The skin prick test involves minor discomfort, similar to a quick scratch. The blood test involves a standard blood draw, which might cause slight discomfort.

  • How are the results interpreted? The results of an IgE allergy test are interpreted by a qualified healthcare provider. A positive result indicates an allergic response, while a negative result suggests an allergy is less likely. However, results must be interpreted in the context of the patient's history and symptoms.

Live Allergy-Free with Wyndly

If you want long-term relief from your allergies, Wyndly can help. Our doctors will help you identify your allergy triggers and create a personalized treatment plan to get you the lifelong relief you deserve. Start by taking our quick online allergy assessment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How accurate is the IgE blood allergy test?

The IgE blood allergy test is considered highly accurate. It measures the level of specific IgE antibodies in the blood in response to particular allergens. While no test is 100% accurate, the IgE test is widely trusted by medical professionals to diagnose allergies with considerable accuracy.

What is the normal IgE level?

Normal IgE levels vary depending on the individual's age and the laboratory test used. However, in general, the normal range for adults is often considered to be less than 100 international units per milliliter (IU/mL). Significantly higher levels could indicate an allergic reaction or parasitic infection.

How do you interpret IgE allergy test results?

Interpreting IgE allergy test results involves analyzing the levels of specific IgE antibodies in your blood. Higher levels indicate a possible allergy. These results, combined with your medical history and symptoms, are used by your healthcare provider to diagnose specific allergies. However, results can vary among individuals.

How reliable is the IgE test?

The IgE test is generally reliable and provides useful information about potential allergies. However, it's not infallible. A positive result doesn’t always mean you'll experience symptoms, and a negative result doesn’t completely rule out an allergy. Always discuss results with a healthcare professional.

What are the symptoms of high IgE levels?

High IgE levels are often associated with allergic responses and can cause symptoms such as skin rashes, itchiness, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, and watery eyes. In severe cases, high IgE levels can contribute to anaphylactic reactions, a potentially life-threatening condition.

What are the side effects of high IgE levels?

High IgE levels are often linked to allergic reactions, resulting in symptoms such as skin rashes, wheezing, shortness of breath, runny nose, and itchy eyes. Moreover, chronic high IgE levels can lead to conditions like asthma, atopic dermatitis, and certain immune disorders.

What does a positive IgE test mean?

A positive IgE test indicates your body's immune system has produced a higher-than-normal amount of IgE antibodies in response to an allergen. This is typically a sign of an allergic reaction and suggests that you may be allergic to a particular substance.

Which medicine is best for high IgE levels?

Anti-IgE monoclonal antibodies, such as Omalizumab, are often used to treat high IgE levels. This medication binds to IgE in the blood, reducing its ability to cause inflammation and allergic reactions. However, the best treatment depends on individual symptoms, overall health, and doctor's recommendations.

What medication is used for IgE?

Omalizumab (Xolair) is a medication specifically designed to treat elevated levels of Immunoglobulin E (IgE). It's a monoclonal antibody that binds to IgE in the body, reducing allergic reactions. It's typically used for severe asthma and chronic idiopathic urticaria (hives).

What is the Anti-IgE allergy medication?

Anti-IgE allergy medication is a type of biological therapy designed to neutralize Immunoglobulin E (IgE), a key player in allergic reactions. The most common Anti-IgE medication is Omalizumab (Xolair), used for treating severe persistent allergic asthma and chronic spontaneous urticaria (hives).

Is Wyndly right for you?

Answer just a few questions and we'll help you find out.

Get Started Today