Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD)
Could Aspirin Or Ibuprofen Be Causing Your Chronic Sinus Problems?
Chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps, asthma and aspirin sensitivity, once known as Samter’s triad, is now more commonly known as AERD. The mean age of onset of this condition is typically between 30-35 years of age.
Symptoms of AERD
A patient will typically have a history of developing a severe cold that does not resolve. Over time, the patient will then develop symptoms of asthma followed by an allergy to aspirin/NSAIDs. Patients affected by AERD often times have had numerous sinus surgeries as well as prolonged treatment with oral and inhaled steroids.
How to Diagnose AERD
The diagnosis of AERD is typically based on the patient’s history. The history of nasal polyps, asthma and an adverse reaction to aspirin/NSAIDS oftentimes results in the diagnosis of AERD. In order to further evaluate the patient, a specially trained allergist will perform a diagnostic aspirin challenge by having the patient ingest a small dose of aspirin followed by close monitoring for an allergic response.
How to Treat AERD
In order to properly treat AERD, the patient needs to be evaluated by an otolaryngologist. At Berger Henry ENT, our physicians will examine the patient and order the appropriate tests including a CT scan of the sinuses to further evaluate the sinus disease and polyps. The first step in treating the polyps will be sinus surgery followed by an aspirin desensitization program. We work closely with allergists who are trained in aspirin desensitization. Undergoing this multi-step process ensures the most accurate way to prevent polyp regrowth post-operatively and to decrease the risk of asthma flair ups and recurrent sinus infections.