What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal Polyps are growths on the lining of a patient’s nasal passage or sinuses. These growths are soft, painless, and are non-cancerous. Nasal Polyps can be caused by multiple issues like chronic inflammation caused by asthma, continuous infections, allergies, drug sensitivity or immune disorders.
Smaller polyps may not cause any symptoms. However, larger growth or groups of nasal polyps can end up blocking your nasal passage or even lead to breathing problems, loss of smell and frequent infections.
Nasal Polyps are most common in adults and can affect anyone. Medication can help shrink or treat nasal polyps, but in most cases, surgery could be the best option depending on the situation. During surgery, the surgeon will remove the polyps, but this is not a cure, as they can return.
What Are the Symptoms of Nasal polyps?
Common symptoms of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps include the following:
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Decreased or absent sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
- Facial pain or a headache
- Pain in your upper teeth
- Pressure on your forehead and face
If you are experiencing the following conditions you should call your doctor and go to the hospital immediately.
- Serious trouble breathing
- Sudden worsening of your symptoms
- Double vision, reduced vision or limited ability to move your eyes
- Severe swelling around your eyes
- Increasingly severe headache accompanied by high fever or inability to tip your head forward
What are the Causes of Nasal polyps?
It is not 100% understood what causes nasal polyps. There is some evidence in which patients that do experience the growth of polyps have a different immune system response as well as different chemical markers in their mucous membranes than a patient who doesn’t develop polyps.
Nasal polyp growth is most common in patients that are middle-aged adults, and they form mostly in areas where the sinuses are closest to your eyes, nose, and cheekbones.
What Are the Risk factors for Nasal polyps?
There are multiple conditions that are associated with the growth of nasal polyps. Any conditions that cause chronic inflammation, like infections or allergies, can cause the development of nasal polyps. Some conditions that increase the risk of polyps include:
- Asthma: causes airway inflammation and constriction
- Aspirin Sensitivity: can cause the development of nasal polyps
- Allergic Fungal Sinusitis: allergy to airborne fungi
- Cystic Fibrosis: a condition that can result in the production of thick mucus from nasal and sinus membranes
- Churg-Strauss Syndrome: this is a rare disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels within that sinuses
What Are Some Complications of Nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps can cause complications because they can block the airflow and fluid drainage in your sinuses. Due to chronic inflammation development, a patient could experience complications like:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Can cause you to stop and start breathing frequently during the night as you sleep.
- Asthma Flare-ups: Chronic Rhinosinusitis can irritate asthma symptoms.
- Sinus Infections: Nasal polyps can cause sinus infections that recur often or even become a chronic disorder.
How Can I Prevent Nasal polyps?
You can reduce the chance of getting nasal polyps by trying the following:
- Manage allergies and asthma: Follow your treatment recommendations for managing asthma and allergies.
- Avoid nasal irritants: Avoid breathing airborne substances that can cause inflammation or irritation of your sinuses.
- Practice good hygiene: protect yourself against bacterial and viral infections that could cause inflammation of your sinuses.
- Humidify your home: Use a humidifier if the air in your home feels dry. Dry air can affect the flow of mucus, and cause blockage and inflammation.
- Use a nasal rinse or nasal lavage: Use a saline spray or nasal rinse. This could improve mucus flow and plus remove allergens and other irritants from your sinuses.
Talk to Your Doctor Today about Nasal Polyps
If you suffer from Nasal Polyps, speak to your Atlanta physician Dr. Thomas Chacko. He will help you by coming up with a treatment plan, and prevention of nasal polyps. Contact your local Atlanta, GA allergist and asthma professional, Dr. Thomas Chacko at (770) 475-3361 or e-mail us using our online form. We have five locations for your convenience, including Atlanta, Cummings, Duluth, Johns Creek and Roswell.