For this month’s Client Spotlight, we are featuring Jenn Stribling, M.D. from Cool Springs Allergy Associates. Dr. Stribling shares tips on seasonal allergies and what she loves about serving in the Greater Nashville area.
Here’s more with Dr. Stribling:
Tell us about yourself and your job as an Allergist.
Dr. Stribling: At Cool Springs Allergy Associates I work as a practicing allergist. Cool Springs Allergy Associates is a private practice that has two offices, one in Brentwood and the other in Clarksville. I joined this practice after my family moved to Brentwood in 2012. Prior to that, I was in a private practice outside of Richmond, Virginia.
What do you love most about your job?
Dr. Stribling: I love being able to make a difference in people’s lives. We see a lot of people moving to Middle Tennessee, and when they do, seasonal allergies often develop. I can help them feel better and improve their quality of life. Sometimes I’m able to help a family get a pet by treating their animal allergy symptoms. Then other times, I’m able to identify life-threatening food allergies and help families come up with treatment plans.
What inspired you to get into the medical field?
Dr. Stribling: Since a young child, I always wanted to be a doctor. While in medical school, I began dating my now husband. He wanted to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather and become a cardiologist. So I knew that if we were going to have children, I needed to be in a specialty that allowed a more flexible schedule. Allergy allows me to work part-time, and take a lighter call schedule. That in turn allows me be more involved in the lives of our children, and then enjoy my job even more.
What are some common allergy symptoms? And common symptoms during different seasons? Is there anything that can be changed in environment or lifestyle to prevent these symptoms?
Dr. Stribling: Common symptoms of allergies or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis are: itchy/runny/stuffy nose, sneezing, post-nasal drainage, itchy/watery/red eyes, headaches and fatigue. Symptoms may occur in the spring to summer if you’re allergic to tree or grass pollen, while fall symptoms are triggered by weed pollens. Year-round symptoms may be triggered by dust, pets or molds. You can decrease your exposure with environmental control measures. If you’re allergic to pollen, I recommend showering at night so that you don’t take pollen to bed with you. It’s also helpful to wash sheets, change air filters, and keep your house clean — particularly the rooms you spend the most time in (bedroom and living room). HEPA filters can be helpful. If you’re allergic to your pet, it shouldn’t sleep in your room, and should sleep somewhere non-carpeted and bathed weekly.
When is it time to see an Allergist?
Dr. Stribling: If medications aren’t controlling your symptoms, it’s probably time to see an allergist. Skin testing can identify allergen sensitivities. This will help direct which environment control measures will be helpful (mentioned above). This can also aid with medication choice and timing. If medications are ineffective, then allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be helpful. It’s also indicated to have allergy testing performed if you have asthma, as allergies can trigger asthma. Also, if you’re concerned about food allergy, particularly life-threatening food allergy (anaphylaxis), then you need to be tested.
What do you love most about living and serving in the Greater Nashville area?
Dr. Stribling: It’s such a great place to raise a family. When we were planning on leaving Richmond, we always thought that we’d move back to Georgia since both of our families live there. But Kyle (my husband) was offered a job in Nashville and we had to weigh the pros and cons. The only thing Nashville didn’t have was our families. While we miss being close to grandparents and cousins, we have made so many wonderful friends who have become our Nashville family. Plus, our families love to visit us here. Nashville is such a fun place for them to visit!
What’s the best advice you would give someone about overcoming obstacles to follow their dreams?
Dr. Stribling: I would say to believe in yourself. I always tell my kids that I wish they would believe in themselves as much as I believe in them. Then specifically, in medical school/residency/fellowship, I had to remember that it was a marathon, not a sprint. There were many years of hard work. But I knew it would all be worth it in the end.
How can people reach you to schedule a consultation or appointment?
Dr. Stribling: They can call our office at (615) 771-8800.