Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
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Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232


(615) 936-1000

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Conditions We Treat

 

Urticaria

Hives, or urticaria, can be caused by a variety of different irritants, including foods, substances in the environment, medications, and illness. For some people, especially those who have had hives regularly for more than a few weeks, none of these are the cause. Some patients with hives need allergy testing, while others do not. We will help you understand if you need testing and provide treatment.

Nasal allergies

Runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, post-nasal drip, and throat clearing are all caused by excess mucus production. This can be due to allergies.

We use skin prick testing to help us understand what is causing your symptoms so that you can avoid these irritants when possible. We will also use medications or shots as treatment. Some patients’ allergy testing is negative, which means that they do not have allergies but still have the same symptoms. For those patients, allergy shots are not the right treatment. We can help with medications to improve symptoms.

Eye allergies

Eye itching, redness, watering, and drainage can be due to allergies. We use skin prick testing to help us understand what is causing your symptoms so that you can avoid these irritants when possible. We will also use medications or shots as treatment.

Asthma

Asthma can lead to breathing difficulties, wheezing, and coughing. Many patients with asthma will also have allergies. Allergies can trigger asthma attacks, so it is good to know if environmental causes are triggering your asthma.

We use skin prick testing to diagnose allergies, and may also use pulmonary function testing (breathing tests) to determine the severity of your asthma. We may recommend inhalers or other medications to help treat asthma symptoms.

Drug allergies

Many patients' families worry about drug allergies. Some may have experienced a rash when on a medication. As we have learned more about drug allergies, we now understand that sometimes a rash is not a sign of a long-term allergy. Many patients will outgrow their allergies.

Drug allergy testing can be helpful. Sometimes, we will also recommend a drug challenge, in which we administer a small dose of a medication to a patient so we can monitor for reactions in a safe environment. Ruling out drug allergies, especially for antibiotics, is very important.

Immunodeficiency

Some children get sick more than others. For some, this is because their immune system is not doing everything it should to protect them from infection. By understanding the types of infections your child suffers from, we can plan an evaluation to help uncover any problems. This may include a blood draw or skin prick testing for allergies, because allergies can mimic illness. Based on the results, we can recommend treatment options.

Learn about our Comprehensive Hematology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease Program.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema is a common problem children can face that may be the first sign of allergies. Children with eczema usually have patches of red, itchy, or dry and thickened skin. Some children with eczema may benefit from skin testing to help understand if there are specific triggers, but this will depend on information that we receive from parents.

We will explain what eczema is, help devise a treatment plan, and teach you how to treat your child’s skin. We recommend both topical and oral medications. The key to successful eczema treatment is consistency in your routine. Over time and with dedication your child’s treatment plan can be successful.

Food allergies

Food allergies are becoming more common in children. The food allergy symptom spectrum is broad, from abdominal pain and rashes all the way to anaphylactic, life-threatening reactions.

We will help you understand your child’s food allergy type and treatment plan. You’ll receive training on EpiPen use, if necessary. If your child attends school, we will provide educational materials to help your school know what to do in an emergency.

Our treatment plan includes long-term analysis to help us determine if and when you child will grow out of a food allergy. In these cases, we may recommend an oral food challenge in the safety of our office. We monitor your child to ensure there are no adverse reactions before we recommend eating the food at home.

Recent studies have shown early introduction of commonly allergenic foods can protect your child from food allergies. This is safe in the home for some children. If your child has eczema or other food allergies you should see an allergist first to determine if it is safe to try these foods at home.

Angioedema

Angioedema, or swelling under the skin, can be a sign of allergy. It can also accompany hives or other allergy symptoms. Allergy testing may help us understand what is causing the swelling. For some patients, angioedema is not allergy-related.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a serious, life-threatening allergic reaction that may be the body’s response to foods, medications, or insect stings. Allergy testing, either by blood or skin prick, can help us determine the trigger so you can avoid it. We recommend our patients who have had anaphylaxis carry an EpiPen in case of an accidental exposure to a known trigger, and we provide training in its use.

Venom allergy

Some people are allergic to bee stings. Symptoms include hives, swelling, shortness of breath, or fainting. For these patients, venom immunotherapy (allergy shots directed against insect venom) can be a lifesaving treatment. Allergy testing, either by blood or skin prick, can help us determine if your child has a venom allergy.

Chronic ear infections or sinus infections

Sometimes, chronic ear or sinus infections are related to allergies and will improve with the right allergy treatment. Testing may also determine your child’s immune system is not doing everything it should to protect against infections.


Last Edited: June 13, 2017
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