Western Ragweed Allergy IgE Blood Test
The western ragweed allergy IgE blood test measures the amount of allergen-specific IgE antibodies in the blood to detect an allergy to western ragweed.
Order a western ragweed allergy IgE blood test to detect an allergy to western ragweed. This test measures the amount of allergen-specific antibodies in a blood sample.
Western ragweed is one of the most common causes of seasonal allergies in the United States. Individuals who have ragweed allergies are reacting to its pollen and are unlikely to go away once developed. Western ragweed has disc-like heads, lobed 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 a tremendous amount of pollen grains that stay airborne, 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. Peak ragweed hours are between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Counts are lower in the early morning and late afternoon.
An allergy to western ragweed triggers a reaction in an individual's immune system. The body views certain substances as toxic and produces IgE antibodies to these contaminants. These antibodies cause histamine to be released, which will cause the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Allergy symptoms vary from one individual to the next ranging from mild to severe reactions, which can be experienced within minutes to hours after exposure. Common symptoms of a western ragweed allergy may include one or more of the following symptoms:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Itchy, watery eyes
- Sinus pressure causing facial pain
- Scratchy throat
- Swollen, dark-colored skin under the eyes
- Runny nose or congestion
- Poor sleep
- Decreased sense of taste or smell
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