Nasal Cytology (Nasal Smear) Test for Allergic Rhinitis
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell. People who have
allergies, such as
allergic rhinitis, sometimes have more eosinophils in
their blood and other body fluids than do people who don't have allergies.
Nasal cytology, or a nasal smear test, checks for these cells. Doctors can use
the test to confirm a diagnosis of
The test is very simple. You blow your nose on a piece of plastic
wrap. A lab technician examines the nasal discharge under a microscope. If
there are many eosinophils, you may have allergies. Finding few eosinophils
(negative result), though, does not mean that allergies are not causing your
Do you suffer from frequent sneezing, congestion, watery eyes, and an itchy,
runny nose? If so, you may have seasonal allergic rhinitis, often called hay
fever. It strikes when pollen starts to fly.
About 18 million U.S. adults and more than 7 million children suffer from
hay fever, according to the CDC. Fortunately, there are steps people with
allergies can take to avoid pollen and the misery that accompanies it, says
Andy W. Nish, MD, of the Allergy & Asthma Care Center in Gainesvill...