Physicians Bring Expertise To The Area

As beautiful as the blooming trees and flowers can be in Middle Tennessee, many who suffer from allergies fear this time of year. Nothing ruins a pretty day spent outside more than a bout of sneezes and watering eyes.

Physicians Bring Expertise To The Area

As beautiful as the blooming trees and flowers can be in Middle Tennessee, many who suffer from allergies fear this time of year. Nothing ruins a pretty day spent outside more than a bout of sneezes and watering eyes.

Thankfully for all of us, Dr. Travis Cain and Dr. Megan Partridge Stauffer and their team are bringing relief to Wilson County with the opening of their office located in the Tennessee Sports Medicine Building across from Providence.

These doctors also support three other offices in Middle Tennessee including ones in Hermitage (next to Lowes), Cookeville and their newest office in McMinville.

Dr. Cain founded the first office in the area and a few years ago Dr. Partridge Stauffer joined him. Both physicians have impeccable credentials, having both completed an Allergy and Immunology fellowship at the Medical College of Georgia before moving to the area.

Dr. Cain has firmly established he and his family in the area. He resides in Mt. Juliet with his wife Susan and their two children, Alexander and Campbell. Dr. Partridge Stauffer has also put down firm roots in Middle Tennessee having just married in May of this year, Clay Stauffer, the Senior Minister of Woodmont Christian Church.

Together the physicians are making their mark in the community, getting to know their patients and forging relationships with them as they go about educating all of us about allergy prevention and treatment.

Seasonal allergies are a problem for many. But Dr. Partridge Stauffer says that “avoidance of allergens to which an individual is allergic is a key component of treatment. Using allergy skin testing, an allergist can identify a person’s allergies and can then recommend ways to avoid those triggers that are causing the symptoms. Avoidance is particularly useful for indoor allergens such as the house dust mite, animal allergens and cockroach. Medications, such as antihistamines to help with itching and sneezing, as well as intranasal steroids to help with congestion and mucous production are often used. However, when avoidance and medications are no longer helping or side effects are intolerable, then allergy shots or allergy drops are the best option. The benefit of allergy shots is they produce a permanent change in one’s immune system and can essentially vaccinate the person to the things to which he or she is allergic.” 

Another problem often seen in the office are children’s allergic reactions to certain foods. Recently there has been a rise in the number of children in the United States with food allergy. Currently 6% of children under 3 years of age have food allergies. The prevalence of food allergy increased 18% from 1997 to 2007 in children under 18 years of age. The reason for the increase in food allergy is not known but according to Dr. Cain there are many theories that are being explored. “The top food allergens are milk, eggs, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, peanut and tree nuts. At this time the best way to treat food allergy is to avoid the food. Food-allergic individuals should always ask about ingredients before eating in order to avoid the accidental exposure to a food allergen hidden in the food. Food allergic individuals and their caregivers must also carefully read food labels. Educating the parents, caregivers and teachers about food avoidance as well the danger of food allergy is important. Also, adults who care for children with food allergies need to know what to do in case of an accidental exposure to the food. They need to know when and how to use an auto-injector containing epinephrine if the reaction is severe.”

Of the many theories as to why children appear to be suffering more from food allergies, Dr. Partridge Stauffer says that one of the current hypothesis is that the doctor recommended avoidance of certain foods by babies and young children, such as eggs and nuts, may in fact be one of the reasons for the rise in allergies of these same foods. She noted that “in countries where the pediatricians do not recommend these restrictions, studies are finding that those children do not suffer from as many food allergies as we do.” She cautioned, however, that “studies are ongoing and at this time we can’t really say for sure why these allergies are on the rise but it is certainly something we are all concerned about.”

Dr. Partridge Stauffer and Dr. Cain seem to have a real affinity to the children they see in their office. Although they treat both adults and children, Dr. Cain noted that “you really get to know the whole family here. You get to know a Mom and Dad and all the kids because usually if one is suffering from some sort of allergy, there is another member of the family that also suffers. Our practice is unique in that we build relationships for a number of years with our patients and it is so gratifying to actually provide a patient with immediate relief. We get to see an immediate impact on their quality of life.”

The physicians continue to give back to the community by sponsoring the Mt. Juliet Little League Giants, the Eighth Grade Lebanon Girls Softball Team and the Ravenwood Country Club Swim Team. They are also beginning to work with local schools by going into the schools and providing education to both the children and teachers about what they all can do to alleviate allergies and asthma. “Education is the key,” says Dr. Partridge Stauffer. “While we can offer relief through medicines and treatments, we  strive to teach our patients why they are suffering and find ways together to best treat their symptoms and also find their trigger.”  

Angel Kane - Kane & Crowell Family Law Center

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