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This section deals with the clinical condition rhinitis, listing the relevant immunological tests, together with a short explanation of their use.

Relevant immunological tests: IgE and Allergen Specific IgE

Allergy tests may help distinguish allergic from vasomotor or other causes of rhinitis. Total IgE is often in the normal range or slightly elevated. Specific IgE may be sought to inhalant allergens.

While the range of allergens tested should be sensibly guided by a careful history this should generally include allergens to which most people are exposed, such as cat and house dust mite (HDM).

Investigation of seasonal rhinitis is only indicated if there is some doubt about the diagnosis or if desensitisation is being considered.

The pollens involved in seasonal rhinitis or asthma are as follows: grasses (May-September), trees (March-May) and weeds (July-September). There is little point in finding the exact pollen allergen unless it is intended to give the patient immunotherapy - when skin testing is mandatory.


(Last updated October 8th 2014)