Aspirin-Induced Asthma: Should You Worry?
Aspirin-induced asthma (AIA) is a condition in which asthma symptoms may develop after taking aspirin or other non-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
It is also known as aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD) or Samter’s Triad.
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) estimates that 9 percent of adults have asthma and that 30 percent of adults with asthma and crying polyps may have AERD.
Continue reading to learn more about the causes and risk factors of AIA and how this condition can be treated.
What exactly is aspirin-induced asthma?
Acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin) is a type of NSAID used to relieve pain, inflammation, and fever.
Similar drugs include ibuprofen (Advil) and naproxen (Aleve).
Aspirin and other NSAIDs interact with an enzyme known as cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1).
Although the exact causes are unknown, it is thought that people with AIA may be sensitive to the way these drugs block this enzyme.
You may be more inclined to AIA if you have all three of these conditions:
Your doctor may recommend aspirin to treat other conditions, such as heart disease or stroke, in cases where the person may have experienced one of these conditions – and the benefits outweigh the risks of asthma symptoms.
What are the symptoms of aspirin asthma?
AIA symptoms usually develop immediately after taking aspirin or other NSAIDs – usually within minutes or hours after exposure.
While it is important to address any suspected AIA symptoms with physicians, here is a breakdown of mild and severe symptoms that need immediate attention.
Soft AIA signs
Soft AIA signs may include:
- nasal congestion
- sinus pain
- a headache
- a slight breeze
- skin rash
- bronchitis and asthma
- stress asthma
The severe symptoms of AIA can make it difficult to breathe even if you take a rescue inhaler.
Although rare, these severe symptoms can be life-threatening.
Seek emergency medical help if you experience any of the following:
- persistent cough
- breathing heavily
- breathing hard
- chest pain / stiffness
- abdominal pain
- to clean
- loss of consciousness
- medicine for asthma attack
- asthma home remedy wheezing
What causes aspirin asthma?
People who develop AIA are usually between the ages of 20 and 50 and may have a combination of:
- chronic sinusitis
- sensitivity to NSAIDs
You may also be at greater risk if you experience any of the following:
- recurrent nasal congestion
- sinus diseases
- asthma genetic
Age is another consideration. You can usually be at risk of side effects from NSAIDs as you turn 50.
It is also possible that the reaction to aspirin was caused by drug resistance. In addition to NSAIDs, other common drug allergies include:
- antibiotics contain sulfa
The symptoms of AIA can be worse if you are drinking alcohol.
AAAAI estimates that 75 percent of people with this condition may experience symptoms after drinking alcohol and using aspirin.
How is aspirin-induced asthma diagnosed?
AIA is usually diagnosed with the help of an asthma specialist, such as a physician, pulmonologist, or immunologist.
There is no single test that can diagnose AIA.
Instead, the diagnosis is made from a combination of the following:
blood tests that can detect high eosinophils show inflammation
physical examination to detect the presence of weeping polyps and determine their size
a complete medical history checking previous medications, respiratory tract infections, and hospitalization
reported data, such as a personal health journal, which may indicate an increase in asthma after taking aspirin
How is aspirin asthma treated?
In addition to avoiding NSAIDs, AIA treatment involves controlling asthma symptoms, sinusitis, and weeping polyps.
You can also talk to your doctor about the following options.
Home remedies may include:
completely avoid aspirin, aspirin-containing products, and NSAIDs
taking acetaminophen due to occasional pain instead, or as directed by a doctor
avoid other causes of allergies and asthma, such as seasonal pollen, dust, pets, and stress
Medications and surgery
A physician might recommend one or more of the following treatments:
- antihistamines to prevent symptoms of allergies
- inhaled and/or intranasal corticosteroids
- leukotriene modifiers can help with your symptoms of both hay fever and asthma
- surgery to remove polyps from the nose
- gradually, the controlled NSAID desensitization performed in the clinic
Are there any complications from asthma-induced asthma?
In addition to advanced asthma symptoms, AIA complications may include asthma (urticaria).
AAAAI estimates that between 20 and 40 percent of people with chronic bee stings may develop symptoms that worsen if they also experience AIA.
A type of inflammation called angioedema can occur.
It is also important to consider the long-term side effects of taking aspirin and other NSAIDs, especially if taken longer than recommended.
- poor digestion
- problems with the liver or kidneys
- conditions related to the heart and blood circulation, such as heart attack and stroke
Avoid mixing aspirin with the following, and:
- other NSAIDs
- selected serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
- certain drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases
Aspirin is a type of NSAID that is used primarily to relieve pain.
But be careful not to use aspirin if you have a history of asthma, sinusitis, and crying polyps.
These basic conditions can put you at greater risk for having AIA.
Talk to your doctor if you are worried about the risks or side effects of taking NSAIDs – or if you have a history of side effects after taking these types of medications.
Is It Genetic Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic (lifelong) lung condition that often runs in families.
Although you may have asthma at any age, children of parents with asthma are at greater risk of developing it at an early age.
Although there is a strong link between asthma and genetics, not everyone with a family history of asthma will have this complex disease.
It is also possible to feel forgiveness for your symptoms. Some will develop asthma later in life with no family history.
The key to asthma management is to take your recommended medication while also avoiding any of the most common causes as much as possible.
Although you may not be able to change your genes, there are still steps you can take to help control your asthma – and perhaps reduce your risk of developing it as an adult.
What you need to know about asthma and genetics
Genetic predisposition is one of the most dangerous factors for developing asthma.
Although no one is born with asthma, you can be born with a genetic predisposition to infertility.
It is estimated that children are three times more likely to have asthma if mothers have it, and 2.5 times more likely to have fathers.
However, there is no guarantee that a genetic predisposition will automatically mean that you have asthma.
One study A reliable source of asthma twins found that 66 percent of cases were linked to natural factors, while the other 34 percent were genetic.
Another 2019 review states that the risk of twins becoming asthma due to their genes is between 55 and 90 percent.
Other research A reliable source supports the fact that although a sibling may receive asthma from his or her parents, other siblings may not.
Because asthma is one of the world’s leading chronic diseases, researchers are continuing to expand their work in various fields of genetics.
Future medical research could extend beyond each family and look primarily at ancestors.
Are there any other causes or risk factors for developing asthma?
Even if your asthma does not work in your family, you may still develop this condition at some point in your life.
Other possible causes and risk factors for the development of asthma include:
- having a personal or family history of allergies and certain things
- history of autoimmune diseases
- having hay fever or eczema
- premature birth
- smoking or frequent exposure to secondhand smoke
- frequent exposure to air pollution, gases, and chemical fumes
- hormonal changes in women during menstruation
Bacterial respiratory infections are common causes of severe (or short-lived) asthma, which usually gets better after passing your illness.
Lung infections (especially RSV) in childhood can also increase your risk of asthma as you grow older.
It is also possible to get relief from asthma at some point in your life, only to have your symptoms come back later.
This is often linked to causes of asthma, which can lead to temporary or long-term symptoms depending on the severity.
Common causes of asthma
Common causes of asthma flare-ups include:
- allergies to certain seasons, such as a tree, grass, and ragweed pollen
- upper respiratory tract infections (viruses)
- air pollution or smoke
- climate change, especially extreme cold and drought
- a pet
- the smell of chemicals
- dust mites
- dietary supplements – especially sulfites
- Beta-blocker medications, sometimes used for migraine and high blood pressure
Is there a way to reduce the risk of asthma?
It may not be possible to prevent all asthma cases.
However, you can help control your risk of developing this incurable condition later in life by:
- quitting smoking and avoiding other smokers
- to avoid occupational hazards that expose you to airborne chemicals and smoke
- stress management
- weight loss (if your doctor advises you to do so)
- keeping your home clean
- to avoid allergies and other exciting things as much as possible