Aspirin is one of the most common over-the-counter medications. It is well-tolerated by most people, however, some people have sensitivities to aspirin. If you develop any of the following symptoms after taking aspirin, your doctor may recommend that you undergo allergy testing. Also, if you have a sensitivity or allergy to aspirin, you may also be allergic to other anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen. Here are some telltale signs of aspirin sensitivity and what you can do about them.
Aspirin sensitivity can cause urticaria, or hives, which can cause inflammation and severe itching of the skin, and in some cases, of the lips, tongue, and throat. Aspirin-induced urticaria can also raise the risk for a life-threatening condition known as anaphylaxis.
This can cause complete obstruction of the airway and difficulty breathing. In mild cases of urticaria, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine such as diphenhydramine will often relieve your symptoms, and may even help prevent an anaphylactic reaction. It is important to note, that you can develop a sensitivity to aspirin at any time in your life, even if you have taken it without incident for many years.
In addition to antihistamines, taking vitamin C supplements may also help you tolerate the effects of aspirin better. Vitamin C is a powerful antihistamine and may not only help manage symptoms of aspirin sensitivity but may also help relieve hay fever and seasonal allergies.
Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease, or AERD, is another consequence of aspirin sensitivity or allergy and may cause wheezing, coughing, nasal congestion, and a decreased ability to smell and taste. AERD may also cause nasal polyps, which as benign fleshy growths inside your nasal cavity.
While decongestants can shrink inflamed nasal polyps, the only curative treatment option is to have them surgically removed, however, they may redevelop in the future. If your AERD is severe, you may also develop asthma. If you have AERD, your allergist may have you undergo aspirin desensitization therapy, which is done in the doctor's office.
You will be closely monitored, while your doctor administers low doses of aspirin, and then gradually increases the dose. You may have reactions during desensitization, but over time, your body will become desensitized, and you will be then able to take aspirin again without the fear of a reaction. Desensitization therapy is especially important for people who need to take a daily aspirin to prevent heart attack or stroke.
If you develop a reaction after taking aspirin, make an appointment with your doctor for allergy testing. The sooner your aspirin allergy is recognized and addressed, the sooner you can start taking it again, if you choose to do so. Contact a company like Ashburn Allergy today for more information.