ASA Triad / Samter’s Triad

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ASA Triad is a chronic condition characterized by a combination of asthma, nasal polyps, and intolerance to aspirin as well as other NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs). People with ASA Triad often experience upper and lower respiratory complications when they’re exposed to aspirin.

ASA Triad Progression and Symptoms

The symptoms of ASA Triad often progress, starting with nasal inflammation (rhinitis) which causes nasal congestion and a reduced sense of smell. Due to inflammation, nasal polyps begin to form in conjunction with the development of asthma caused by lower airways being obstructed. Following this is the development of sensitivity to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Aspirin intolerance doesn’t necessarily mean that it's an allergy. However, the adverse symptoms experienced when someone with ASA Triad is exposed can be severe and sometimes fatal.

These symptoms include:

  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hives
  • Life-threatening asthma attacks
  • Development of a severe rash

ASA Triad Treatment

The treatment of ASA Triad is often a combination of different medication that requires daily intake. This is due to the use of a combination of treatments. The combination aims to treat each underlying condition, as well as the triad combination itself.

Some of the treatments may include:

  • Corticosteroids
  • Saline nasal spray
  • Surgery to remove polyps

One of the most effective management methods is aspirin desensitisation. Aspirin desensitisation refers to a technique in which Dr Makhaye will try to improve your tolerance to aspirin by gradually increasing your intake of aspirin. Many patients have reported that aspirin desensitisation not only improved their tolerance to aspirin but also improved asthma and nasal symptoms.