The severity of the allergic reaction to pollen varies from person to person according to:

  • the immune system of the sensitized person which reacts in different degrees to the allergen
  • the type of pollen to which the person is allergic
  • the intensity of the pollen season.

Allergic predisposition

Allergies to pollen and allergies in general have an hereditary element.

Children of allergic parents are more susceptible to be allergic : they have inherited an “allergic predisposition” to certain allergens.

This sensitivity can manifest itself with greater or lesser severity throughout life.  

Skin test

Simple and very fast, the skin test, also called “prick test”, consists of placing the suspected allergen in contact with the skin making it penetrate slightly. It is an immediate allergy test: the allergic reaction appears immediately after contact with the allergen involved and is measured according to the size of the erythema (red mark). 
N.B.! This is a sensitization test: the presence of allergy sensitization is measured. One can be sensitive to an allergen without necessarily developing symptoms.

Blood test

A blood test makes it possible to measure the quantity of antibodies specific to an allergen (IgE), particularly those that cannot be identified by skin tests.

Skin and blood tests are complementary because they make it possible:

  • to determine which allergen is at the origin of the allergy by observing reactions to the skin test
  • to assess the severity of the allergy according to the number of antibodies present in the blood.



The Belgian aerobiological surveillance network “Airallergy” quickly informs general practitioners, specialists, pharmaceutical firms and the general population of the presence of allergens in the air.

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