Nasal Polyps

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths lining the nose or sinuses. They occur commonly in adults with asthma, allergies, inflammation in nasal passages or repeat infections.

Nasal polyps are found in nasal passages and sinuses, hollow spaces in the bones around your nose. They hang down like teardrops or grapes. They are formed from mucous membranes which is the thin soft tissue that lines these parts. These membranes might change naturally over one’s lifetime. Large sized polyps can block the nasal passages and/or lead to breathing problems, a lost sense of smell and frequent infections. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis and polyps are similar to those of many other conditions like common cold. Your ENT will note your allergies and infections and do a physical exam with a nasal endoscope and/or get scans to get a detailed picture depending on the level of severity. Polyps can be successfully treated medication and in some cases an outpatient surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions

Polyps develop because the mucous membranes lining the nose or sinuses change. Nasal polyps can grow anywhere on the lining of the nose or the sinuses. They seem to grow due to long-term swelling and inflammation in the nose from allergies, asthma, or infection. Small polyps may not cause any problems. Large polyps can block your sinuses or nasal airway.

Removing polyps with surgery often makes it easier to breathe through your nose. However, over a period of time polyps often return. Many people need to stay on steroid treatments for a long time or have repeat surgery.

Polyps are usually linked with some cause of inflammation in the nose like, asthma, repeat sinus infections, allergic rhinitis, and chronic rhinosinusiitis. You can’t prevent nasal polyps. However, nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy shots may help prevent polyps that block your airway. Treating sinus infections right away also may help.