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What are allergies?

Allergies are one of the most widely searched medical conditions online, and allergy testing is a very popular request at Duality Health.

An allergy is a hypersensitive reaction from the body’s immune system when a person comes into contact with a typically harmful substance. People can be allergic to substances we breathe, eat or drink, or that touches our skin.

When this happens, the allergen triggers an abnormal response in our bodies, causing upsetting, uncomfortable and sometimes frightening changes. Patients can experience everything from a runny nose or rash, to swelling of the lips, breathlessness and collapse.

But not all allergic reactions produce such severe symptoms. Often, an allergen might just leave you with an itchy rash. And every time you come into contact with that allergen, your reaction will be the same.

Duality Health offers tests for a wide range of allergens. We can check for specific substances, but it is usually better to test for a group of potential allergens. That way, patients are more likely to find the cause of their symptoms.

Below, you will find a list of the allergy profiles we offer. Click “Book Now” on your chosen profile to schedule your allergy testing today.

What is blood IgE allergy testing?

The most accurate and effective method of diagnosing allergies is for a medical professional to:

  1. Take a thorough clinical history.
  2. Identify the substance that is likely causing the allergic reaction.
  3. Verify this via blood IgE skin prick testing.

A blood (serum) IgE test measures the antibodies your body produces. If you have more IgE antibodies than normal, it is likely the reason why you are having allergic reactions to a substance. However, positive results will not always correlate to an allergic reaction.

While our wide range of specific IgE test panels can be incredibly effective, a strong clinical history is needed for a significant result. That is why Duality Health also offers total IgE testing – that is, testing for all different types of IgE antibodies. That means we can give you the best possible chance of identifying your allergen and helping you manage your allergic reactions.

An example of an accurate blood lgE testing result

At seemingly random times, Sandra gets a rash and an upset bowel. She starts keeping a food diary of everything she eats, and suspects either dairy, eggs or peanuts are the cause. But since she never eats these on their own, and they are common ingredients in her regular meals and snacks, she cannot figure out which is responsible.

So, Sandra books a combination food panel that tests her IgE antibodies for all three foods. When the results come back, it indicates high levels of IgE for egg. Sandra removes egg from her diet, and the allergic reactions disappear.

An example of a poor lgE testing result

Kevin thinks he is allergic to something, but has not taken the time to consider what the cause might be, either by himself or with a GP. So, he books a wide ranging allergy profile to check for everything at once. Five items are returned with raised IgE levels.

But this does not mean all five results are significant

IgE antibodies are raised by any item that your body is hypersensitive to. But this doesn’t mean that you have allergic reactions to all of these items, even with the raised IgE.

In someone with no issues of allergy or sensitivity at all, you may find 10 items that result in raised IgE levels. But they might have no allergic symptoms from these items. So, they have no need to avoid them.

The use of blood IgE allergy testing is great to prove or disprove your hypothesis of sensitivity to a number of allergens. But it is not a useful screening test to use without clinical thought or counsel.

In this case, Kevin has wasted his time and money, and is still no closer to understanding his allergy.

Who can/cannot get allergy testing in Duality Health?

  • Our nurses do not perform blood tests on children under secondary school age.