Beth Moore can now keep up with her children. The suburban Philadelphia mother of two had suffered from allergies and chronic sinusitis since her teens. With age her symptoms became more severe, turning into bronchitis and eventually asthma, diminishing her ability to breathe and sapping her of her energy. The only complete relief came from aspirin; and the aspirin desensitization that allowed her to overcome her aspirin allergy and end her decades-long battle with sinusitis.
John R. Cohn, MD, head of the Adult Allergy Section at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and professor of Medicine at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University is one of few allergists to perform the desensitization procedure which trains the body to tolerate aspirin, improving some patients with the triad of sinusitis, asthma, and aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), while allowing others to receive the complete benefits of aspirin for cardiovascular and related disorders.
"Aspirin and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) allergies can cause patients to have life-threatening reactions in the form of asthma, chronic rhinosinusitis or constriction of the upper and lower airways (e.g., nasal congestion and bronchospasm) anywhere from a few minutes to hours after ingestion," Dr. Cohn explains.
Moore recalls her reaction to aspirin as a teenager, "Within minutes I was short of breath and overheating," she says.