Allergy testing helps to determine whether IgE is playing a role in the pathogenesis of a disease of immediate hypersensitivity. History alone does not distinguish allergic from nonallergic individuals reliably. In some cases, such as mild intermittent asthma or rhinitis, distinguishing between allergic and nonallergic patients may not be important clinically. However, for patients who have persistent or acute severe symptoms, testing is indicated. Identification of allergens can allow the patient to institute appropriate avoidance measures, especially with allergy to dust mites, foods, and animals. Knowledge of pollen sensitization can predict seasonal exacerbations so therapy can be increased during these times. Finally, allergy testing can be used to initiate allergen-specific immunotherapy, a treatment that has provided substantial, proven benefit to patients for almost 100 years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health