Western Ragweed Allergy IgE Blood Test
The Western Ragweed Allergy IgE Blood Test measures IgE antibodies in the blood to detect an allergy to western ragweed.
What is the purpose of this test?
Order this Western Ragweed Allergy IgE Blood Test to measure IgE antibodies in the blood and detect an allergy to western ragweed. Western ragweed is one of the most common allergens that cause seasonal allergies in the United States. Western ragweed is characterized by its disc-like heads, oval-lance leaves, and individual male and female flowering heads. The numerous stems are hairy and grow annually from a taproot. There are at least 17 ragweed species that grow in North America. The plants thrive in grasslands, dry slopes, coastal areas, roadsides, sandy flats, forestry regeneration sites, other disturbed sites, and agricultural fields. Western ragweed plants release many airborne pollen granules, spreading far and wide. Ragweed season usually begins in early August and ends in mid-October and is worse when days are warm and dry and nights are cool.
What causes an allergy to western ragweed?
Western ragweed allergies are triggered by a hypersensitive individual inhaling its pollen. These allergens may trigger a response in their immune system since the body views certain substances as harmful, producing IgE antibodies to combat these invaders. Unfortunately, these antibodies cause histamine to be released, resulting in the symptoms associated with an allergic reaction.
When should I order a Western Ragweed Allergy IgE Blood Test?
Individuals may order this test if they have experienced symptoms related to a ragweed allergy. Allergy symptoms vary from one individual to the next ranging from mild to severe reactions, which can occur within minutes to hours after exposure. Common symptoms of a ragweed allergy may include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Red or watery eyes
- Runny nose
- Sore or scratchy throat
- Sinus pressure causing facial pain
- Swollen, dark-colored skin under the eyes
- Trouble breathing or wheezing
- Poor sleep
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
A severe, possibly life-threatening allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis can occur in the most severe cases. An anaphylactic response requires immediate medical attention. Signs or symptoms of anaphylaxis include:
- Rapid or increased pulse
- Swollen throat or lump making it difficult to breathe
- Low blood pressure
- Extreme dizziness or loss of consciousness
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