Are you experiencing nasal blockage and difficulty breathing? You could be suffering from nasal polyps! While most are familiar with polyps that occur in the colon, polyps can appear in the stomach, uterus, and nasal cavities. Although they are concerning, nasal polyps are almost always benign. Despite this, individuals with nasal polyps should seek treatment from an otolaryngologist immediately, as they affect one’s lifestyle and can bring about infection. Typical symptoms of nasal polyps include stuffy nose, postnasal drainage, nasal obstruction, and decrease or complete loss of smell.
What causes nasal polyps?
Polyps appear in the mucus lining of the nasal (or sinus) cavity as a result of chronic inflammation. Polyps are soft, clear, watery, growths that resemble grapes. They are often painless, making patients unaware of milder cases of polyps. Unfortunately, the direct cause of nasal polyps is unknown. However, those with the following conditions are more likely to develop nasal polyps:
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Allergies to environmental agents
- Aspirin intolerance
- Fungal sinusitis
- Certain immune disorders
Treatment options for nasal polyps vary based on the severity of the case. Most instances can be treated using steroids, but some more severe cases may require surgery. Oral steroids are proven to reduce the size of most polyps, but should not be considered for long term usage, as they can affect bone density and result in changes to the fatty distribution of the body.
Nasal sprays are an effective form of long term treatment for nasal polyps, and can minimize some of the inflammation that causes polyps. For a nasal spray to be effective, polyps must be removed to access the inflammation site. Most patients with nasal polyps can expect to use a nasal steroid spray consistently to stabilize their symptoms.
If you are experiencing nasal polyps, make an appointment with the friendly doctors at Alexandria Otolaryngologist today. With the help of a specialist, nasal polyp symptoms are easily managed, restoring healthy sinus and nasal function.