Nasal polyps are soft, often painless, benign (noncancerous) growths on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. They are the result of chronic inflammation and are associated with asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorders.
These growths can result in chronic congestion, leaving individuals with a runny or stuffy nose, postnasal drip, reduced sense of smell, and a feeling of pressure in the forehead or face.
Aspirin-exacerbated respiratory disease (AERD), also known as Samter’s Triad, is a chronic immune dysregulation that includes three features: asthma, sinus disease with recurrent nasal polyps, and sensitivity to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The exact cause of AERD is unknown, and the disease is not caused by taking aspirin or NSAIDs, but AERD sinus and asthma symptoms get worse when taking these medications.
Aspirin desensitization is considered the gold standard treatment for AERD. Clinical studies have found that 87% of AERD patients who undergo desensitization and continue daily aspirin therapy show improvement in their symptoms. Aspirin desensitization treatment can be performed by administering gradually increasing doses of aspirin at one of our clinics. The goal of this treatment is to have the individual begin long-term daily aspirin therapy, which can help decrease the regrowth of polyps.
In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Dupixent (dupilumab) to treat adults with nasal polyps accompanied by chronic rhinosinusitis. According to a study, patients who received Dupixent had statistically significant reductions in their nasal polyp size and nasal congestion compared to those who did not have treatment.
The specific immune proteins that are involved in the inflammation that occurs with nasal polyps include interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13). The biologic, Dupixent, blocks these immune proteins, slowing down the immune response and inflammation, resulting in a decrease of nasal polyps symptoms. Continuing to treat your allergies is critical to reducing occurrences of nasal polyps in the future.
Our team of specialized clinicians can discuss whether aspirin desensitization or Dupixent would be a beneficial treatment for your nasal polyps. Contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule your appointment.