In Florida, allergies last much longer than a season. We have an extended grass pollen season, which means our residents experience symptoms for longer periods of time than people in other areas of the country. In the U.S. as a whole, allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness and affect more than 50 million people each year.

Common symptoms typically include sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, headaches, nasal congestion, coughing, difficulty breathing and swelling. As a result, allergy testing has become an easily accessible tool to diagnose various food and environmental allergies.

With many new mail-in testing options available, it’s important to understand the limitations of testing for your allergies at home. There are many reasons in-office testing, under the supervision of a physician, remains the gold standard for diagnosing and treating allergies. If you are weighing the option of ordering an at-home allergy test kit, below are some facts to consider:

In-Office vs. At-Home Allergy Testing In-Office At-Home
Accurate results Yes No
Results available immediately Yes No
Immediate explanation of results Yes No
Customized treatment plan provided Yes No
Covered by insurance Yes No
Supervised by physician and trained staff Yes No
Recommended for food and environmental Yes No

One key distinction between the two types of testing is the accuracy of identifying relevant allergies. Another distinction is the accuracy of detecting food allergies. At-home allergy testing utilizes Immunoglobulin E (IgE) to detect environmental or food allergies. At times, the IgE level in blood is not sufficient for accurate allergy diagnosis. Food allergy testing is complex and requires expert interpretation in conjunction with a detailed patient history, and often requires additional testing for confirmation. A simple IgE test for food allergy is not reliable for diagnosing food allergies or sensitivities.

If you or your friends and family members suffer from allergies, contact Florida E.N.T. & Allergy. Their team has completed extensive education and clinical training in the allergy field. Their ability to diagnose and create personalized treatment plans provides patients with the most successful outcomes. For additional information or to schedule an appointment, please call (813) 879-8045 or visit Florida E.N.T. & Allergy online at

The physicians of Florida E.N.T. & Allergy have served the Tampa Bay community for over 45 years. Their board certified physicians have completed extensive education and clinical training as well as specialized training in their area(s) of expertise. From pediatric allergies to fitting hearing aids, their caring and experienced physicians specialize in ear, nose, throat and allergy care for the entire family using comprehensive, cutting edge technologies.