Nasal Polyps What, Why, How?

Nasal Polyps What, Why, How?


Nasal polyps refer to soft, sac-like growths that can be found on any part of the sinus or nasal lining. They usually grow where the sinuses connect to a person’s nasal cavity, though.  While smaller polyps might not bring about any unwanted conditions or symptoms, bigger ones can block the sinuses or the nasal airway altogether and bring about sinus infections.

Nasal polyps

appear to grow because of long-term nasal irritation and swelling brought about by asthma, infections or allergies. They are not connected to cancer in any way. While nobody really knows why nasal polyps come about, they seem to appear more often in people who have asthma, aspirin sensitivity, cystic fibrosis, chronic sinus infections or hay fever.

Some of the most common symptoms of nasal polyps include a stuffy nose, a runny nose, a blocked nose, sneezing, a loss of taste or smell, and headaches.

To figure out whether a person has nasal polyps, the doctor will look for a grayish grape-shaped growth inside of their nasal cavity. In some cases, the doctor might take a CT scan of the sinus, as well, wherein cloudy spots may signal polyps. Older polyps tend to break down the sinus bones, too.

While it is possible to take certain medicines to help ease the symptoms of nasal polyps, it is very rare for them to vanish altogether.

Nasal steroid sprays are known to make polyps smaller in order to clear out a runny nose or a blocked nasal passage. Once the treatment is stopped, however, they may return. To stop them from returning, allergy medicines can be taken.

Corticosteroid liquid and pills can reduce certain symptoms, like swelling, while antibiotics can treat bacterial sinus infections. Antibiotics cannot help with viral sinus infections, though.

If none of these medicines are effective, or if the polyps are quite big, surgery might be needed for their removal. The most common kind of surgery to treat polyps would be endoscopic sinus surgery, wherein the doctor will insert a thin tube with a light and instruments on the end into the nasal passage to get rid of them. This type of surgery can be done in one day, but doesn’t guarantee that the polyps will never come back.

Fortunately, surgery can make it much easier for people to breathe through their noses once again overall. However, it doesn’t necessarily improve a loss of taste or smell in the person who goes through it.

To find more alternative ways to deal with nasal polyps read this.

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Does this mean if we don’t have any symptoms from asthma, infections or allergies, that our chance to get nasal polyps is low? I just found out my brother has them and was searching around to see how people get them and if it’s genetic, but I don’t have any of those conditions and he does (asthma and allergies too I think). It’s good to know he has options. Thanks for providing this great information resource!

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