Nasal polyps are benign lesions affecting around four percent of the population. It is a common and painless condition. Patients with nasal polyps may experience headache, nasal obstruction, coughing, and rhinorrhoea.
Nasal polyps are a small-circular growth, resembling a small cyst in the nasal cavity. It affects the vitality, emotional state, and general health of the patient.
What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are non-carcinogen growth of mucosa in the nasal cavity of your nose. They do not show any symptoms if they are smaller in size. Nasal polyp can occur in any age group, but adults are at increased risk for this condition. The doctor may prescribe medications for mild to moderate cases. In severe cases, the patient may undergo surgery. There is a high incidence of their recurrence.
What Are The Symptoms Of Nasal Polyps?
Patients with nasal polyps may experience the following symptoms:
- Rhinorrhoea (Runny Nose)
- Nasal obstruction
- Frequent nose bleeding
- Facial Pain and Headache
- Head and forehead pressure
- Postnasal drip
- Reduces sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
What Are The Causes Of Nasal Polyps?
Following are the major causes of nasal polyps:
- Family history and hereditary
- Underlying conditions such as Asthma and Cystic fibrosis
- Hey fever
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
- Sensitivity to NSAIDs
- Allergy towards any irritation
- Chronic sinus infections
How The Doctor Performs Diagnose The Nasal Polyps?
Polyps are visible with the help of a simple lighted instrument like a medical torch. Some diagnostic tests for nasal polyps are:
- Nasal endoscopy
- Allergy tests
- Test for cystic fibrosis(CF is an inherited condition that affects the gland production of mucous, sweat, tear, saliva, and digestive juices)
- A blood test to rule out vitamin-D deficiency as it may result in nasal polyps)
What Are The Treatment Options Of Nasal Polyps?
Following are some of the treatment options for nasal polyps:
Medication: The doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the size of polyps and managing symptoms. The doctor may also recommend topical nasal steroids, sprays, orals (like tablets), or injections.
Nasal sprays can reduce the inflammation and sensation of having a blockage inside the nose by shrinking the polyp. There is a high chance of recurrence after stopping the treatment. Take steroids only as per the directions of the doctor. It may have side-effects like a rise in blood pressure,increased pressure in the eyes, and fluid accumulation.
The doctor may also recommend antihistamines and antibiotics. They can treat allergies and sinus infections and can reduce nasal inflammation.
Surgery: Surgery is another option for managing nasal polyps.The type of surgery depends upon the size of the polyp.Nasal polyps reappeared in around 15% of the patients. Sometimes, patients need to undergo multiple surgeries.
Doctors perform polypectomy for small nasal polyps.The surgeon uses a small suction device or a micro-blade. The doctor cuts and removes soft tissues alongside mucosa. For large polyps, the patient may undergo an endoscopic sinus surgery. The doctor uses an endoscope, a thin and long tube with a camera at the other end, to perform the surgery.
After surgery, the doctor may prescribe nasal sprays and washes to reduce the risk of recurrence. The side effect of nasal surgery includes nose bleeding and nose infections. The patients may also experience a reduction in smell sensation.
What Are The Complications Of Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps can create complications in normal breathing because it blocks normal airflow and drainage of fluid. It also creates long-term irritations and inflammation. Some complications of nasal polyps are:
- Obstructive sleep apnoea
- Asthma flare-up
- Sinus infections
How To Prevent Nasal Polyps?
Following are some of the ways to reduce the occurrence of nasal polyps:
- Maintain good hygiene: Frequently wash your hand with hand-wash.
- Humidify your home: Use a good humidifier in your home to maintain the temperature and moisture. It will reduce the chances of infections and inflammation of the nasal cavity.
- Avoid exposure to polluted air such as the air containing dust, debris, smoke, chemical fumes, etc.
A nasal polyp is a common and chronic condition. The patient with this condition may experience various nasal symptoms such as a runny nose, breathing difficulties, nasal obstruction, and snoring. The doctor may diagnose the condition through physical evaluation and blood tests. The doctor may also recommend other tests to rule out the presence of certain diseases. The treatment may include medications and surgery.