Allergy Relief

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, we can help. Our team of specialists in the Vanderbilt Asthma, Sinus and Allergy Program can diagnose you and provide treatment, often in just one visit.

About Allergy Care

Effective allergy treatment goes beyond prescribing medication. Allergies affect each patient differently, so our staff takes time to explain which methods of allergy management may work best for you.

How to Recognize and Control Food Allergies

If you've ever had an allergic reaction to food, you know how serious these allergic reactions can be. Getting tested for food allergies is the best way to prevent yourself from having a severe reaction.

In this short video, Dr. Allison Norton explains how to recognize and treat food allergies.

How to Recognize and Control Nasal Allergies

Common symptoms for nasal allergies include runny nose, sneezing, coughing and itching. When these allergies are not controlled properly, they can interrupt your daily routine and cause nasal discomfort. Nasal allergies are commonly treated with antihistamines or allergy shots.

In this video, Nurse Practitioner Christine MacLean explains ways to monitor and control your nasal allergies.

Allergy Specialty Care

Our specialists treat many unique allergy types, including stinging insect hypersensitivities, hives and drug allergies.

Stinging Insect Hypersensitivity

If you have been stung by yellow jackets, wasps, hornets or fire ants and had one or more of these symptoms, you should be checked for stinging insect hypersensitivity.

  • Wheezing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hives
  • Throat closing
  • Cardio collapse

Stinging insect hypersensitivity can be a life-threatening condition. If you have this condition, our experts in immunotherapy can help you prevent life-threatening reactions. Learn more about treatment for stinging insect hypersensitivity or call (615) 936-2727 to schedule an appointment.

Nasal Allergies

Patients with well-controlled nasal allergies can experience less sneezing, coughing and itching when exposed to common allergens like pollen and pets. Testing at our center will help you understand what you are allergic to so you can avoid contact with these items. After testing, we can help you develop a preventative approach to control your nasal allergies.

Hives

Three million Americans live with hives. You may not have to suffer from this condition. Our allergy specialists can help pinpoint the trigger for your hives and design a treatment plan just for you.

Myths about people with chronic hives:

  • They have multiple allergies.
  • They must avoid many types of foods.
  • They must undergo extensive testing.

The fact is that, in most cases, chronic hives can be controlled with the proper medications. Options include omalizumab (xolair), which is FDA approved for treating chronic hives. Read more about hives.

Vanderbilt Drug Allergy Clinic

Misdiagnosed drug allergies can impact the type of health care you receive and the effectiveness of that care. The Vanderbilt Drug Allergy Clinic helps individuals with reactions to medications understand their conditions so they receive better care.

What can I expect in the first four-hour visit?

After your vital signs are taken, you will be asked to share a thorough medical history. Your provider will then determine which tests, if any, need to be performed to make an appropriate diagnosis. You may need any or all of these tests or procedures: allergy testing, pulmonary function studies, a CT scan of the sinuses and a chest x-ray.
After testing, you will have a consultation with the healthcare team for further discussion, education and to establish a treatment plan.

Will my insurance pay for services at A.S.A.P.?

Most insurance plans cover the visit with a co-payment or co-insurance percentage due from the patient. The testing done here may be subject to a deductible or co-insurance percentage. Insurance benefits vary from employer to employer. We advise all patients to check their benefit handbook for specifics. Our staff can assist you with any other questions you may have.
Please click here to see if your insurance is accepted at Vanderbilt.

Do I need a referral from my insurance company?

Your insurance plan may require a referral or authorization. Insurance benefits vary from employer to employer. Please check your own benefit handbook. It is ultimately the patient-s responsibility to gather necessary referrals here. Our staff can assist you with any other questions you may have regarding insurance referrals. We recommend that all of our patients become established with a primary care physician.

Should I refrain from eating before my visit?

Patients may eat before their visit unless instructed not to as with the preservative challenges.

How is allergy testing done?

Allergy testing, also known as skin testing, is done by placing small amounts of environmental allergens [trees, grasses, dust, mold, pet hair, etc.] on the inside of the forearms. It is usually done in two stages. The first stage tests for severe allergies and uses lancets that prick the skin. The second stage tests for mild/moderate allergies and allergens are injected under the skin like the tuberculin skin test. The tests are interpreted after 15 minutes.

What medications do I need to stop taking before my visit?

We ask new patients to refrain from taking medications containing antihistamines before their initial visit. Download the Adult New Patient Packet for a list of medicines. Antihistamine-containing medicines may interfere with your allergy test readings as the antihistamine can block the normal histamine reaction in a person-s skin. Do not stop other medications without first consulting your doctor.

What is the youngest patient that you can see at A.S.A.P.?

Most providers can see children as young as 5 years of age. Please see the physician listing for more details.

Are your physicians board certified?

Yes, all of our physicians are board certified.

I have hives. What can you do for me?

Hives can often be controlled effectively, if not cured. Common myths about living with hives include that they are caused by multiple allergies, requre a highly restrictive diet, or need many tests to diagnose. We help individuals with chronic hives to control their conditions through treatment plans that often include medication, such as omalizumab (xolair), which is FDA approved for treating hives.

What other specialty testing can you do at A.S.A.P.?

Sometimes it is appropriate to test for other allergens besides airborne pollens. We can test for some such as stinging insects, molds, foods, preservatives or a very limited number of medications. These tests are NOT usually done on the first visit and require special consideration with specific physicians.

I think I may have something wrong with my sinuses. Can I just see one of your Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctors first?

Our ENT surgeon is happy to see patients with specific sinus problems. However, they request that possible medical treatments and options first be explored with the allergy team prior to being seen by the ENT surgeon.

What are your shot room hours?

No appointment is necessary for allergy shots. Hours are:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday:
7:30 am - 4:30 pm (last shot given at 4:10 pm)
Friday:
7:30 am - 11:45 pm (last shot given at 11:25 am)

Patient testing may include:
  • CT Scan, also called a CAT Scan. This is a special type of x-ray that allows the patient's sinuses to be viewed. Abnormalities of the sinus can cause many conditions, including asthma, sinusitis, and headaches.  In fact, 50 to 70 percent of moderate to severe asthma sufferers have sinusitis and don't know it.
  • Allergy Testing is a basic tool for determining the cause of allergy symptoms and takes 30 to 60 minutes.  Allergies are also the cause of many diseases including asthma, rhinitis, and bronchitis.  Studies show that all asthma has an allergic trigger.
  • Pulmonary Function Testing is performed to determine how well air is getting to the patient's lungs, how well the patient's lungs use the air breathed, and how well air is expelled from the lungs.  This can be a key indicator of reduced breathing capacity.
  • Endoscopic Examination provides a closer examination of the patient's nasal passages and sinuses.  A small scope is inserted into the patient's nose in order to identify polyps or other abnormalities that result in a variety of breathing disorders.
  • Chest X-Rays can help determine whether the patient has abnormalities in the lungs, which could be the cause of their breathing disorder.