What are Nasal Polyps? Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that occur as the nasal passage tissue becomes inflamed and irritated. When nasal polyps become irritated, they may enlarge to the point that they block the nasal passage. This may result in breathing issues.
A nasal polyp may cause the following symptoms: runny nose, stuffy nose, pressure along the sinus cavity, headaches, itchy eyes, and snoring. Symptoms are similar to that of a common cold or allergy infection.
A chronic condition of nasal polyps is considered if the growth has lasted more than 12 weeks. Polyps are found near the beginning of the sinuses and further grow within the mucous membranes of the nose. They develop fully in inflamed sinuses. Age is a factor, where children develop less polyps than adults.
What is the treatment? A doctor will determine the triggers or factors that have caused the nasal polyp growth. Is it allergies or something else? A skin test is used to determine the factors, as is a nasal endoscopy procedure. The endoscopy consists of a small tube that has a camera on the end to be inserted into the nasal passage. The doctor will assess and determine whether or not polyps have formed.
There are also medications to treat polyps, but are not as effective. Such medications could be a corticosteroid nasal spray or an oral method. Oral corticosteroids are not recommended for long periods of time because serious side effects have been noted and are linked to them.
If the case of nasal polyps is more serious, then surgery may be suggested. The downfall is that polyps have the tendency to return, even after surgically removed. Surgical removal takes place with a suction cup and removal of soft tissue. The surgeon may treat other impending nasal issues that will help prevent future polyp development. Surgery may also improve overall breathing capabilities.
How to prevent? Using a nasal rinse as a method of preventing polyps has proven effective. Saline that is rinsed twice a day will clean out sinuses and prevent future mucous from building up. Another method of prevention is utilizing a humidifier. Be aware that humidifiers may trigger other allergic reactions.
Brief summary: There are a variety of reasons that nasal polyps may grow, but they all are a direct result of infected or inflamed sinuses. Common causes are allergic reactions, genetic disposition, age, asthma, or sleep apnea. Treatments of polyps may include either oral or nasal medications.
Treatment can also be surgery, but only in the most extreme cases. Be preventative in order to maximize results. Learn what are the allergic triggers to nasal polyps, and rinse sinuses out with saline as a preventative course of action.