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What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal Polyps are usually painless, noncancerous growths that develop in the soft tissues of the sinus cavities, usually in the hollow spaces near the bones around the inside of the nose. These growths can become irritated and swollen, which partially blocks the nasal passages.

Polyps form due to chronic inflammation, where the tissues in the nose stay inflamed for long periods of time; fluid builds up, and the membranes continue to grow around the buildup and inflammation. The cause of Nasal Polyps is usually linked to conditions such as Asthma, Allergic Rhinitis, Chronic Rhinosinusitis, Cystic Fibrosis, or repeat sinus infections.

What are the symptoms of Nasal Polyps?

The biggest concern of large, growing polyps is the blocking of the nasal passages. This can cause difficulty breathing, repeated sinus infections, Sleep Apnea, or frequent Asthma attacks.

Other symptoms can include:

  • Nasal congestion or drainage
  • Loss of smell or taste
  • Pressure or pain
  • Post nasal drip
  • Nosebleeds
  • Headaches
  • Snoring

Polyps are usually diagnosed through physical exams, where an ENT specialist will look into the nose with a nasal endoscope or perform a CT scan to see further into the sinus cavities. Some polyps can be treated through the use of steroid sprays, oral steroids, injections, stents to prop open the passages or even outpatient surgery. Unfortunately, even with treatment and surgery, polyps can redevelop. It may be possible that allergies cause the polyp formations, so allergy testing may be another option to get to the root cause. In the meantime, antihistamines and decongestants may be used.

Here are some tips for prevention or possibly remedying smaller or developing polyps on your own:

  • User a humidifier to keep the air moist and reduce inflammation.
  • Use a nasal spray or rinse to moisten the nasal passages.
  • Avoid irritants such as dust, debris, or smoke.
  • Manage your allergies or asthma.

You may call us anytime to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT Specialists to properly diagnose Nasal Polyps and a plan of treatment.

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