Nasal polyps are benign growths that occur on the mucosal lining of the nasal passages. They are typically small and though noncancerous can still cause obstructions of the sinuses, leading to congestion, breathing problems and sinus infections.
Signs & Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
Some nasal polyps are tiny and cause few problems. Others produce symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, sneezing, loss of smell and taste, postnasal drip, headache, sinus pain and pressure and snoring. If symptoms persist longer than a few weeks and are not associated with a cold or allergies, seek medical attention.
What Causes Nasal Polyps?
Some people develop nasal polyps randomly, but most often there is some sort of triggering mechanism. Common triggers include allergic rhinitis, chronic sinus infections, cystic fibrosis and sensitivity to aspirin and other NSAIDs. Genetics may also play a role.
A diagnosis is usually made through visual inspection with a nasal endoscope. A sinus CT scan, can be useful in determining the size of the polyps and in ruling out more serious growths, such as tumors. Allergy tests may be recommended in order to identify any allergies responsible for your symptoms.
Treatment for Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps can be treated with either medication or surgery. The goal is to reduce the size of the polyp or remove it completely in order to alleviate your symptoms. Nasal sprays, oral or injectable steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics are all common drug treatments. If they are ineffective, surgery may be performed. The type of procedure depends on the size of the polyp. Endoscopic sinus surgery is used for excising the polyp.
Call Comprehensive ENT at (804) 228-4480 for more information or to schedule an appointment.