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Confusing Allergy Test Results

I was diagnosed with asthma about eight months ago. I've been bothered by dust (sneezing spells, runny nose, itchy eyes, etc) for years, and now dust is a major asthma trigger for me as well. I can't sweep, dust or vacuum, or really do anything that stirs up house dust, without setting off my asthma. I've started pre-medicating with my reliever and wearing a mask while cleaning, which helps a lot, but I still find I have to be careful.

I had a skin prick allergy test for the first time a few months back.
It came up positive for ragweed, but negative for dust, mold, dander and all the indoor allergens. I was very surprised, as dust affects me far more than ragweed ever has, especially with my asthma.

Does anyone else have experience with this? Can you get a false negative on an allergy test? Is it possible to react dust as an irritant rather than a true allergy, the way some people react strongly to smoke or fragrances?

  1. Hi rjmoon and thanks for your post. While I'm hopeful others in our community will share their own anecdotal experiences, I thought you might get more of a response by posting this in our 'question and answer' section. You can access it here: As well, you may stimulate more discussion by posting it on our asthma Facebook page. You'll find that link at the bottom of this page.
    Good luck!
    Leon (site moderator)

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