Nasal polyps are described as growths that develop due to swollen mucous membranes in the sinuses and nasal passages. They can go beyond to the opening of the nostrils or down to the throat. Take note that these growths can obstruct the nasal passages.
It is important to note that nasal polyps are frequently linked to other long-lasting conditions and have a tendency to last for a long time. They can even grow again after surgical removal or medical treatment.
Conditions linked with nasal polyps
Remember that nasal polyps can occur along with other respiratory diseases such as chronic sinusitis, allergic rhinitis, aspirin allergy and asthma. The polyps are quite common among those who have non-allergic forms of rhinitis and asthma.
In some, nasal polyps can indicate an immunodeficiency disease. Polyps in children can indicate cystic fibrosis. Other conditions such as primary ciliary dyskinesia, common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) and selective IgA deficiency might be linked with nasal polyps as well.
Signs and symptoms of nasal polyps
In most cases, the individual with nasal polyps will experience nasal congestion that might be severe and could not be relieved by the commonly used allergy medications.
Other common symptoms include the following:
- Runny nose with colored or clear mucus
- Sinus pressure
- Loss or diminished sense of taste and smell
Take note that facial pain is quite common among those with chronic sinusitis than those with nasal polyps. An individual with a severe case might be able to see the polyps in their nostrils.
Diagnosing nasal polyps
In some circumstances, the doctor will come up with a diagnosis by assessing the nasal passages. This typically involves the use of nasal endoscopy in which a small camera is inserted into the nose to view the nasal passages. A CT scan is commonly used to make a diagnosis as well.
Treatment of nasal polyps
Nasal polyps are managed by both surgical and medical treatment. In severe cases, sinus surgery is required to remove the polyps and any sinus infection. Nevertheless, since the polyps have the tendency to grow back, overuse of surgery must be avoided.
The ideal therapy of nasal polyps typically involves surgical therapies and then followed by medical treatment since this approach helps minimize the risk that the polyps will grow back.
Nasal steroid sprays and drops
These medications work by reducing the size of the nasal polyps and prevent them from growing back after surgery. Some utilize the nasal drops instead of the sprays for better penetration of the nasal passages.
Oral corticosteroids work by reducing the size of the nasal polyps and useful for those with severe symptoms.
Nasal saline irrigation
This is useful for those who have chronic sinus infections. The irrigation is suitable for those who had sinus surgery since it rinses out the sinuses as well.
These medications are beneficial for individuals with nasal polyps particularly those with aspirin allergy. Those who has aspirin allergy usually have elevated levels of leukotrienes, thus the medication works by blocking the chemicals to minimize the symptoms of chronic sinus disease and formation of polyps.
Allergy shots can be used to treat or prevent nasal polyps from growing back after surgery. This treatment option is useful for those who have significant allergy triggers.