A “pay attention” article was recently published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology cautioning adults with asthma to be more aware that aspirin may aggravate their condition.
The authors pointed out that while some adult asthmatics with Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) are cognizant of the negative effects aspirin can have on their health, most are not.
Studies have shown that AERD is more likely to occur if adult asthmatics also have chronic sinus problems and/or nasal polyps. Overall, seven percent of asthmatics have AERD, but 15 percent with severe asthma have it.
Unfortunately there is no simple blood or skin test to diagnose Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease. Right now, only two ways are available for these patients to become aware of the possibility: 1.) Monitoring their breathing symptoms after ingesting aspirin or other NSAIDS (non-steroid anti-inflammatories). 2.) Doing an aspirin challenge in a doctor’s office by measuring baseline pulmonary function tests and then incrementally increasing doses of aspirin, while repeating the pulmonary tests.