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At-home allergy tests may offer a convenient way for people to determine whether or not they have an allergy to a certain substance. These products are available for purchase online and in many drugstores and pharmacies.
At-home allergy tests are not always reliable, however. People should interpret their results with caution and contact a doctor or immunologist for further tests.
This article discusses the uses and reliability of at-home allergy tests, some products available to buy online, and when to contact a doctor.
When the body comes into contact with this substance, it produces antibodies to protect itself. These antibodies travel to cells that release chemicals, including histamine, that cause an allergic reaction.
An allergic reaction commonly causes inflammation and irritation. In severe cases, exposure to an allergen can cause anaphylaxis, which can be life threatening.
Some common allergens include:
- dust mites
- insect stings
- animal dander
- medications or drugs
A doctor or immunologist may diagnose an allergy after conducting a skin test. This often involves pricking the skin with a needle or plastic prong that has a common allergen on it.
Many at-home allergy tests work by obtaining a blood sample using a finger prick. However, this method may not a reliable way to determine whether or not a person has allergies.
At-home tests that look for immunoglobulin G (Ig4) in the blood are unlikely to provide accurate results, as this antibody is present in people who do and who do not have allergies to substances.
An individual who uses an at-home allergy test will likely find it beneficial to follow up on their test results with a doctor or immunologist.
Some allergy tests may return a false-positive or false-negative result. It is important to see a healthcare professional for additional tests, especially if an individual is testing for food allergies.
Below is a list of at-home allergy tests that people can buy online.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tested any of these products. All information presented here is purely research-based.
This product by Test My Allergy requires a blood sample that people can take with a finger prick. The kit provides everything a person needs to take this sample at home.
Individuals need to send their samples to the company’s testing laboratory in the United Kingdom. The pack includes a return envelope. The company then sends the test results back via email.
The company sends all tests to an ISO-9001 certified laboratory for analysis. This means that it must adhere to specific quality standards.
This particular test analyzes the presence of immunoglobin E (IgE) and Ig4 against 70 of the most common allergy and intolerance items.
Everlywell’s sensitivity test uses a finger prick sample collection. The company includes all the equipment and instructions in the kit.
A person then sends their sample back to Everlywell’s laboratories. The company provides prepaid shipping. People can receive their test results digitally within days.
Everlywell’s laboratories are
This product does not test for allergies. Instead, it analyzes the presence of Ig4 in a person’s blood against 96 different foods to potentially identify which food sensitivities a person may have.
However, there is no medical or scientific data to suggest that Ig4 levels correlate with true intolerances or sensitivities.
People should not use this product to test for lactose intolerance or celiac disease.
The Prime 110 test also requires a finger prick to obtain a small blood sample. The kit provides all necessary equipment and instructions.
The company also includes a returns envelope wherein a person can enclose their sample and send it back to the laboratory at no additional cost.
Prime 110 sends the results and a thorough report by email. Individuals can purchase a fast-track test and receive their results within 48 hours of the laboratory receiving the blood sample.
The company uses an ISO-9001 certified facility for testing. The laboratory analyzes the blood sample for the presence of IgE and Ig4.
The Prime 110 Allergy & Intolerance Test looks for 75 food intolerances and 35 common allergies.
Again, there is no data to suggest Ig4 levels truly correlate with food intolerances.
The company is currently unable to process results from people in the states of New York and New Jersey.
People can order this test online. However, AccesaLabs requires a person to visit one of over 1,000 laboratories in the United States to take a blood sample.
People will receive their test results by email within about 4 business days.
AccesaLabs uses ImmunoCAP testing to analyze the presence of IgE in the blood. Some research suggests that this has a low amount of false-positive test results.
This product only tests for allergies to cat and dog dander.
A person can order the HealthLabs Seasonal Allergen Test online. However, a healthcare professional must take the blood sample in a laboratory. Purchasers do not need an appointment and can choose from over 4,500 laboratories in the U.S.
Test results are available online within 24–72 hours.
HealthLabs does not state which testing methods it uses.
The company provides four different seasonal allergen tests: spring, summer, fall, and perennial (year-round).
An at-home allergy test should not replace a visit to a doctor or immunologist.
These tests may not always be accurate, so a person should interpret their results with caution and seek follow-up tests with a healthcare professional.
The American College of Asthma, Allergy & Immunology recommends seeing a healthcare professional if:
- A person’s allergies cause chronic sinus infections, nasal congestion, or breathing difficulties.
- A person experiences hay fever or other allergy symptoms for several months per year.
- Over-the-counter medications do not help or cause unpleasant side effects.
- Allergies interfere with a person’s day-to-day activities or decrease their quality of life.
- A person experiences warning signs of severe asthma, such as struggling to catch a breath, wheezing and coughing, frequent shortness of breath or chest tightness, or frequent asthma attacks.
When to get emergency medical advice
A person must seek immediate medical advice if they are experiencing anaphylaxis.
There are various at-home allergy tests that a person can purchase. These tend to test for various allergens, but some combine allergy tests with purported intolerance testing.
Many at-home allergy tests require a blood sample. Some products include equipment and instructions that allow the person to obtain the blood using a small finger prick. Some products, however, require a healthcare professional to take a person’s blood in a laboratory.
At-home allergy tests are not always reliable. People should not use these tests as an alternative to contacting a healthcare professional.