Treating Nasal Polyps

Young man suffering from nose bleeding, black and white panorama If you’re over 50, you’ve surely heard of polyps. They form as a small clump of cells on the lining of the colon, and they can be cancerous, especially if they’re larger. Polyps in the colon are the target of colonoscopies as they can be a sign of colon cancer.

At our four ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas locations we work with another less well-known polyp, a nasal polyp. These are growths in the lining of the nose or sinuses, and they can impede airflow and cause other problems.

What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are teardrop-shaped growths that usually form in the area where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity. When people hear the term “polyp” they fear the worst, as they’ve heard of polyps and their link to colon cancer. Fortunately, unlike polyps that form in the colon, polyps in the sinuses are almost always noncancerous. These polyps hang down like grapes. Small nasal polyps may not cause any symptoms, while larger polyps or groups of polyps can block the patient’s nasal passage, leading to various problems.

What causes nasal polyps to form?

The development of nasal polyps is most common in men over the age of 40, but anyone can have them. Causes aren’t fully understood, but there seems to be a link with allergic rhinitis, asthma, sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis. These growths are linked to chronic inflammation in some people, but not everyone. Some research shows a difference in the immune system response in the mucous membranes of people who develop nasal polyps.

What are the symptoms of nasal polyps?

  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy or blocked nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Loss of taste
  • Facial pain
  • Itching around the eyes
  • Chronic infections
  • Increased sensitivity to fumes, odors, dust, and chemicals

How are nasal polyps treated?

The typical treatments for nasal polyps are nasal corticosteroid sprays. While they don’t remove or cure the polyps, these sprays can prevent them from becoming worse. When a patient has a more involved case, we may use oral or even injected corticosteroids.

To treat any chronic infections, we utilize antihistamines and antibiotics.

If your polyps don’t respond to these methods, we may use endoscopic surgery to remove the polyps and correct problems with your sinuses that make the development of polyps more likely.

In patients who had prior sinus surgery and have a problem with recurring polyps, we may use a small steroid implant known as SINUVA.

Do you have some of the symptoms listed above? Our team at The ENT & Allergy Centers of Texas, can help you. Call us at (972) 984-1050 to make an appointment.

Posted in: Nasal Polyps

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