This post will help you discover what’s causing your indoor and outdoor allergies (or seasonal allergies) and contains an honest review of the Everlywell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test. I will tell you a bit more about the test and how it works, as well as detail my test results. This post is sponsored by Everlywell and contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosures.
Several years ago, I wrote about Everlywell’s Food Sensitivity Test. It offered a rare glimpse inside how my body reacts to different foods.
Today, however, I want to talk about another test by Everlywell called the Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test.
Nearly eight percent of adults in the U.S. experience allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, making it the most common outdoor allergy. Worldwide, it affects between 10 and 30 percent of the population.
I am personally intrigued by this test because I, like so many, suffer year-round from indoor and outdoor allergies, although my allergies tend to flare up in the spring.
Everlywell’s Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test promised to shed some light on what allergens were affecting me most. Was it my dog? Grasses? Dust mites? Mold?
I would soon find out as the test set out to evaluate how my body reacted to 40 indoor and outdoor allergens, including the following 14 trees, nine weeds, seven grasses, four molds, two dust mites, two pet allergens, and two pests.
The test is looking at how much, if any, immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies are produced by the immune system when exposed to each of these potential allergens.
Your immune system will overreact to some of these allergens and produce IgE antibodies that are detected via a blood test.
Please note that the Everlywell Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test does NOT test for celiac disease, food sensitivities or allergies. For more information on food sensitivity testing, please see this article. For more information on getting tested for celiac disease, please read this article.
Interested in testing yourself for indoor and outdoor allergens? Order a test by CLICKING HERE and enter the code GOODFORYOU10 for 10 percent off – sweet!
How to Take the Test
You can take any Everlywell tests in the privacy of your home. No need to make a doctor visit, take time off of work, or beg your doctor to order such a test on your behalf.
The test kit arrives in your mailbox within days of placing your order, and the kit contained the following:
The test also comes with detailed instructions and a box and envelope for safely mailing the completed test to the lab.
To perform the test, you need to prick your finger with the provided lancet. I’m a little squeamish when it comes to stabbing myself with a needle, however, the process is quick and you only feel a slight pinch when the needle penetrates your skin.
To get the blood flowing, I washed my hands with warm water, stood while I drew blood, and massaged my finger. I found that the longer I was drawing blood, the more flowed toward the tip of my finger. Be patient; the blood will start flowing if you give it a little time.
You can watch me draw blood and complete the test in the following one-minute-long video:
Here is what the test card looks like once I added drops of my blood inside each of the 10 circles.
I put the completed test in the mailbox, and waited a few days for the result to arrive in my inbox.
Everlywell sent me a text when my sample arrived at the lab, and then sent me an email (along with a follow up phone call reminder) when my test results were ready for viewing.
The Big Reveal
An emailed titled, “Your Everlywell results are ready!” popped into my email, and I opened it with much excitement and a little trepidation.
Truth be told, I was nervous the test would reveal I was allergic to dog dander, and well, I’m not willing to give up my dog!
Outside of that, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. I felt like everything bothered me. Pollen, grasses, pet dander, dust mites, etc. You name it, I blamed it for my runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing and scratching throat.
High Reactivity Allergens
Inside the Everlywell dashboard, my test results showed I have high IgE reactivity (class 3-6) to the following three allergens:
(1) Kentucky Bluegrass
Kentucky Bluegrass is one of the most prevalent commercially grown turf grasses found on lawns across America.
My lawn is made from Kentucky Bluegrass, so it makes sense that I suffer in the spring when Kentucky Bluegrass pollination is at its peak.
(2) Rye Grass
Another popular grass adorning lawns across America is rye grass, which also has a pollination period of March-May.
Rye grass should not be confused with rye. Rye is a cereal grain, which contains gluten, but rye grass is just that, a grass.
(3) Timothy Grass
Timothy grass is a long grass with a cat’s tail. This type of grass is most commonly used as hay for horses or for other grazing animals, and its pollen count is highest in the spring as well.
Moderate Reactivity Allergens
Everlywell is thorough in its assessment of your allergens, and therefore details where you show a moderate IgE reactivity (class 2) as well.
My tests showed one moderate reactivity allergen, cat dander, which makes sense because I feel hyper-allergic to cats. I’m surprised cat dander wasn’t higher on my reactivity spectrum to be honest!
Low Reactivity Allergens
The following came back on my labs as low reactivity allergens (class 1). They are worth noting, but probably don’t contribute to my symptoms like the high and moderate allergens do.
- Johnson Grass
- Rough Pigweed
The additional allergens Everlywell’s Indoor & Outdoor Allergen Test tests for came back with very low reactivity, which means they are not allergens I need to worry about. These included things like dust mites, dog dander, mold, trees and other grasses.
Interested in testing yourself for seasonal allergies? Order a test by CLICKING HERE and enter the code GOODFORYOU10 for 10 percent off – sweet!
Not a Diagnosis
Everlywell is quick to note that this test alone is not a diagnosis of an allergy; rather it should be used to help you identify which indoor and outdoor offenders may be causing unwanted symptoms, and then guide you in how you want to manage those symptoms.
Regardless of how these tests come out for you, the goal is to find ways to manage your unique indoor and outdoor allergies.
I imagine if my tests had come back positive for mold, dust mites, or dog dander, I might have to take a look at making some serious changes to my house. My test showed that I mostly have to worry about grasses and cats.
Everlywell offers some advice in its patient dashboard for how I can find some relief. Here’s what I plan to do:
- Avoid being outside on windy days, particularly between March-May. This is when the pollen from the grasses is spreading and at its worse.
- Limit time doing yardwork. I can officially tell my husband, “I’m allergic to yard work.”
- Keep windows closed. It may mean I need to use the air conditioner more than necessary, but the relief from my allergies is worth it.
- Shower before bed on high-pollen days. Showering will allow me to avoid bringing unwanted pollen into my bed sheets.
- Change clothes after being outside. If I’m outside for a prolonged amount of time and particularly in the spring, Everlywell advises me to change my clothes when I get home. It may make for more laundry, but it will certainly bring me relief.
- Over-the-counter antihistamine medications. These medications help block histamines and reduce symptoms such as sneezing, cough, and itchy or watery eyes. I take a daily antihistamine already, and will continue to do so.
Will Taking an Antihistamine Impact the Test Results?
Because I take a daily antihistamine, I had this sudden thought that an antihistamine might skew my test results.
I checked with Everlywell’s FAQs and found that, antihistamines are intended to stop histamine, but do not impact IgE antibodies. Everlywell says histamine is a chemical released upon subsequent exposure to an allergen and does not impact IgE antibodies.
How to Get an Indoor & Outdoor Allergy Test
I loved the experience of getting a rare glimpse inside my body to better understand what does – and doesn’t – bother me.
Just like with food sensitivity testing, we tend to blame any and all foods without truly knowing if that exact food is to blame.
I highly recommend this test for anyone suffering from any sort of indoor or outdoor allergies and who wants to better understand if dust mites, mold, grasses, or pet dander is behind their sneezing, itching, and overall icky symptoms.