What is RAST Allergy Test?
A RAST (radioallergosorbent test) is a blood test which is used for screening allergies. In this test, the blood is drawn from the patient’s body and tested for allergies. The RAST allergy test is ideal for those with eczema, skin conditions, or severe allergic reactions. RAST test measures the number of allergen specific antibodies in the blood, and thereby can determine the allergies.
How Does RAST Test Work?
An allergy is caused when the immune system overreacts to a certain substance or allergen. During the allergic reaction, allergen-specific antibodies are released in the blood. The RAST test measures the allergen-specific antibodies in the blood to diagnose an allergy.
If a person has an allergy to pollen, he/she would have several pollen-specific antibodies. High number of antibodies in the blood against a particular allergen would mean the person is having allergy.
Benefits of RAST Allergy Test:
RAST test is a bit expensive when compared to skin prick test. It also may not be as accurate as skin prick test or food challenges. However, this test has the following advantages:
- This test is suitable for those who are risk of a severe allergic reaction
- If a person has eczema or other skin conditions, skin testing may not be ideal. In such cases, RAST allergy test is recommended
- It is suitable if the individual has an aversion towards skin testing
- This test does not involve much of the patient’s time
The RAST test is recommended if skin testing does not produce definite results. So, if you would are wondering if you have allergies, you can consult an allergist and get yourself a RAST allergy test.