Nasal polyps are sac-like fleshy growths that grow in the lining of the nose or sinuses resulting in inflammation of the mucous membranes. They occur from the presence of other respiratory diseases that last for a long time such as allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, asthma, and aspirin allergy. Nasal polyps are more common in people with non-allergic rhinitis and non-allergic asthma. They tend to grow back even after surgical or medical treatment.
Patients with nasal polyps often develop a cold that will last for several months. Other symptoms include breathing through the mouth, blocked nose, runny nose, and loss or decreased sense of smell and taste.
Your healthcare provider diagnoses the condition by performing nasal endoscopy. This involved inserting an endoscope with a small camera on the end into the nose for a better view of the nasal passages to confirm the presence of polyps. A CT scan may also be ordered and shows cloudy spots that confirm nasal polyps.
Treatment for nasal polyps includes medications such as nasal steroid sprays, corticosteroids, antileukotriene medications (for individuals with aspirin allergy), and nasal saline (for sinus infections and allergic rhinitis). Antibiotics may be recommended in case of bacterial sinus infection.
Surgery may also be recommended by your doctor in severe cases to remove the nasal polyps. The most commonly suggested procedure is ‘functional endoscopic sinus surgery’ (FESS). It is performed using an endoscope which helps to view nasal cavities better and may also be combined with medical therapies such as allergy shots to prevent their recurrence after surgery. Removal of polyps by surgery makes it easier to breathe through nose.