What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are benign (non-cancerous) growths that grow from the mucous membrane that line the nasal passages and the paranasal sinuses. They are usually soft and painless. The underlying cause is an inflammatory reaction that occurs within the mucous membranes. For example, the cause of the inflammation may be from allergies, recurrent sinus infections, or alteration of the immune response.
What Are the Symptoms?
Nasal polyps can cause a variety of symptoms. The most prominent among these are nasal congestion or difficulty breathing through the nose. The polyps may also obstruct the natural opening of the sinuses. This can result in facial pressure and sinus infections. Additional symptoms may include:
- reduction or loss of smell
- reduction or loss of taste
- nasal congestion or feeling like your nose is always "blocked"
- excessive postnasal drainage
Other medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis can contribute to excessive mucus. Do you have asthma? About 38% of adults with asthma also have nasal polyps.
What Are the Treatment Options?
If the polyps are small, they could respond with medical treatment. This consists of nasal steroid sprays like fluticasone (Flonase) or Nasacort, corticosteroids by injection, allergy medications, and saline rinses. Also, treatment of underlying inflammatory disease such as allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, or immune disorders can also reduce these growths. You may need to be referred to a doctor who specializes in allergy and immunology for further evaluation and treatment with biologics.
Larger polyps or polyps that don't respond to medications usually require surgical removal. At Nevada Sinus Relief, we can perform this procedure in the office by using a system of local anesthesia that permits comfortable polyp removal along with treatment of related sinus disease and other problems to improve breathing through the nose.
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