What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths on the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses. They hang down like teardrops or grapes.

Causes

Nasal polyps can grow anywhere on lining of the nose or the sinuses. They often grow where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity. Small polyps may not cause any problems. Large polyps can bloc your sinuses or nasal airway.

Nasal polyps are not cancer. They seem to grow due to long-term swelling and irritation in the nose from allergies, asthma, or infection.

No one knows exactly why some people get nasal polyps. You may be more likely to get nasal polyps if you have any of the following:

  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • Asthma
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hay fever

Symptoms

Nasal polyps are soft and lack sensation. If they’re small you may not be aware you have them. Larger polyps may block your nasal passages and sinuses.

Common sings and symptoms of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps include:

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffed up nose
  • Sneezing
  • Feeling like your nose is blocked
  • Loss of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Headache and pain if you also have a sinus infection

With polyps, you may feel like you always have a head cold.

What is a Nasal Polypectomy?

Nasal polypectomy is a surgical procedure to remove polyps located in the nasal passages. The doctor will often use endoscopic sinus surgery to treat polyps. With this procedure, the doctor uses a thin, lighted tube with instruments at the end. The tube is inserted into the nasal passages and the doctor removes the polyps.

After surgery, you’ll likely use a corticosteroid nasal spray to help prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps. The doctor may also recommend the use of saltwater (Saline) rinse to promote healing after surgery.

Prevention

You may help reduce your chances of developing nasal polyps or having nasal polyps recur after treatment with the following:

  • Nasal sprays
  • Antihistamines
  • Allergy shots
  • Treat sinus infections right away