Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous teardrop-shaped growths that form in the lining of nasal passages or sinuses. While they can grow anywhere on the lining of the nose or sinuses, they typically grow where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity.
Nasal Polylp Symptoms
They are commonly linked to allergies and asthma, and especially if they are small, they may cause no symptoms and require no treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms (which will likely be a result of larger polyp growths or groups), they can include:
Larger nasal polyps can block normal drainage from sinuses, causing mucus to build up in the sinuses and become infected. These larger growths or groups of polyps require medical attention since they can black nasal passages, lead to breathing problems, a lost sense of smell, or chronic sinusitis. Large nasal polyps can even alter the shape of the nose. Medications can shrink or eliminate these polyps, but sometimes surgery is needed.
Nasal polyps can occur in anyone, but are more common in adults over 40. Men are also more likely to experience this condition than women. Scientists still do not fully know what causes nasal polyps. While the condition in linked to allergic rhinitis, asthma, aspirin allergy, sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis, the cause is not always known. Sometimes people will develop polyps before developing linked conditions like asthma or sinusitis.
Nasal Polyp Treatments
There are a few non-surgical treatments to relieve symptoms and get rid of nasal polyps. Nasal steroid sprays can shrink polyps and clear blocked nasal passages. Symptoms may return if the treatment is stopped. Allergy medicines may also be prescribed to help prevent polyps from growing back. For more severe cases, endoscopic sinus surgery is used to remove polyps.