I have a condition — a pseudo-allergy — called various things most often Samter’s Triad or AERD (Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease). It was identified in 2013 after I suffered worsening symptoms for 2 years. 

When it flares up, it can be as a sinus infection or asthma depending mostly on the season. Cold weather triggers asthma in a lot of people anyway, and, in my case, definitely. This year has been worse than past years I think because in surgery in May I inhaled a LOT of strange stuff. My lungs are slow to recover because they just don’t always work that well. 

AERD is a condition in which people are hyper-sensitive to aspirin and other NSAIDs. I cannot take them. This also means a hyper-sensitivity to that which makes aspirin aspirin, but exists in most plants to some degree, that is salicylic acid. Combine spinach and cold air, and I have asthma. It’s worse at night. 

The cause is unknown, but Samter’s Triad is believed to be more common among people who smoke (I don’t and never have) and those who have spent a lot of their life — particularly their childhood — around second hand smoke (thanks, Mom). 

In the general population it is quite rare, but among asthmatics, it’s thought to be about 9%. 

I’m on meds and have my handy emergency inhaler so if I just keep the air going into my lungs warm enough, I’ll be OK. 

18 thoughts on “Asthma

  1. I can empathize Martha. I had asthma as a child ( our house was full of cig smoke, thank you mom). I was fine for years until last year. Now it’s the inhaler every day at $200. 00 a month. I had not heard of aspirin induced asthma before. I must look into it. Be well ! 😊

    • Yeah, look into it. Mine is controlled with Singulair and nasal steroids. Most of the time I have no symptoms and don’t even take the nasal steroids, but if it flares, I have to. Definitely ask to be tested since many docs don’t know about it or don’t think about it. Mine was diagnosed by an allergist my ear nose and throat guy sent me to. Take care!! ❤

  2. Funny you should mention that because I was not supposed to take aspirin or any other NSAID, but I was sneaking in aspirin because Excedrin was the ONLY thing that knocked out the migraines. But I couldn’t breathe and my gut was getting increasingly weird.

    Finally, since I already KNEW I was forbidden to take the stuff and have known for a few years, I stopped.

    And I began to feel better. I can breathe. I can’t afford Singulaire — they want $500/month out of pocket for it, but I have some emergency inhalers when I’m desperate. For reasons best known to Medicare, they have made the price of daily inhalers unaffordable. No one living on social security can afford them. And this stuff used to be reasonably priced. I used to buy a month for $75, even though they didn’t cover it.

    But not taking aspirin has actually helped.

  3. Knowledge is key to this one — you know not to take NSAIDS, you know to keep the inhalations warm, etc. And you’re wise enough to follow the “rules!” Take care, and stay well!

  4. It’s really important to keep the air you breathe warm when you’re walking and the scarf sounds like a good idea. We wear a thermal Buff in the cold which we can pull over our nose and mouth. They’re light-weight and really effective 🙂💜

    • I will check them out. I haven’t had this problem since I moved here, but I breathed in a lot of weird stuff during my surgery and they had me on oxygen for a while, so maybe my lungs are more sensitive this winter than in winters past.

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