Nasal Polyps ( Nasal Blockage )

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are growths in the lining of the nose or sinuses. Polyps usually occur in both the right and left nasal passages. When there is a single polyp, it is important to make sure it is not cancerous.

How do they occur?

The reason some people get nasal polyps is not known. They commonly occur with diseases such as asthma, aspirin allergy, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), chronic sinus infections. Men are 4 times as likely to have nasal polyps as women.

What are the symptoms?

Polyps look like small white or pink grapes in the nose and can cause:
• stuffy nose and trouble breathing
• runny nose or sneezing
• a poor sense of smell and taste
• changes in the way your voice sounds
• mouth breathing
• frequent sinus infections.

How are they treated?

If your nasal polyps are small, your doctor may prescribe a steroid nasal spray. If the polyps are larger, you may require oral steroids for a short period of time. This medicine will slowly shrink the polyps. If your polyps are large, you may need minimally-invasive endoscopic surgery (FESS) to remove them.

How long do the effects last? 

Steroid medicines usually begin to shrink nasal polyps within 10 days. 

Surgery to remove the polyps corrects the problem right away. You may have some soreness from the procedure, but it should not last more than a few days. 

Polyps may recur even after surgery. Therefore follow-up after surgery is important to detect any recurrences and “nip them in the bud”. You may need to take medicine that helps prevent them or sometimes even repeat surgery.

How can I help prevent nasal polyps? 

Because the cause of nasal polyps is not known, there is no known way to prevent them. If you have had nasal polyps, using a steroid nasal spray on a regular basis may help keep polyps from coming back. 

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