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How Aspirin Can Make Your Asthma and Sinus Congestion Worse

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Usually we can cite the common culprits for sinus congestion and asthma (pesky allergens and exercise come to mind), but aspirin can also exacerbate asthma and sinus congestion. And for those who suffer from this, aspirin allergy desensitization might be just the necessary measure to eradicate those worsened symptoms.

Luckily, Asthma & Allergy Specialists also houses the Aspirin Allergy Treatment Center, which provides care for patients with aspirin allergy or sensitivity. Here, they fill us in on what you need to know about treating it:

Who is affected: For some persons with asthma, ingesting aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) can cause the asthma to worsen nasal and sinus congestion. In these individuals, aspirin triggers wheezing and shortness of breath or other allergic symptoms. Aspirin allergy desensitization is helpful for patients with all three conditions: aspirin sensitivity, asthma, and nasal/sinus polyps. However, bear in mind that for most persons with asthma, taking aspirin has no negative effect.

Who to call: If you think you might have an aspirin allergy or sensitivity, consult Allergy & Asthma Specialists. At your appointment, it will be determined if you are a candidate for aspirin desensitization.

The treatment: The procedure offered is called aspirin desensitization. Starting with a very small dose of aspirin and gradually increasing the dose of aspirin every few hours, the patient’s reaction to each dose will be closely monitored until a reaction such as wheezing, shortness of breath or nasal congestion occurs. This reaction will be quickly treated and reversed.

This gradual introduction of increasing doses of aspirin helps the patient’s immune system build up a natural immunity, safely and effectively, making the patient less sensitive, or desensitized, to aspirin.

The outcome: Most patients who have undergone aspirin desensitization experience greatly reduced symptoms of nasal congestion, sinusitis and polyps. There is a decreased need for sinus surgery and nasal corticosteroids and asthma control improves. Plus, taking aspirin will not result in an allergic reaction following treatment. To maintain the effectiveness of the aspirin desensitization treatment, aspirin will need to be taken on a daily basis, indefinitely.

The fellowship trained board certified allergists of Allergy & Asthma SpecialistsSM offer state-of-the-art allergy treatment at offices located in Center City Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown and Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Schedule an appointment today online at www.AllergyandAsthmaWellness.com or by calling 1-800-86COUGH, ext. 2.