Nasal polyps are a commonly occurring condition in the nose. They are essentially soft lumps, which develop within the lining of the nasal cavity or sinuses.
The nasal cavity is a channel for the passage of air through the nose and is lined with mucous membranes bearing tiny, hair-like projections which enable flow of mucous into the throat. The sinuses are pockets of air-filled spaces in regions around the nose - the forehead, cheeks and near the eyes.
The exact cause for the occurrence of nasal polyps is yet to be determined. However, chronic inflammation is said to be an underlying feature of nasal polyps, which mostly affect young and middle-aged men and women.
People with asthma, drug sensitivities, allergies, vitamin D deficiency and a family history of respiratory illnesses are predisposed to acquiring growths of nasal polyps.
When polyps are small in size, these non-cancerous tissue masses do not give rise to any discomfort or agony. However, the relatively larger polyps can clog the nasal passage, leading to breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, sub-optimal sense of smell and aggravated infections. Also Read: How To Use A Nasal Spray To Relieve Congestion
If left unattended to, nasal polyps can result in grave consequences like obstructive sleep apnea, severe asthma and intense sinus infections. Hence, it is advised to promptly consult a doctor once symptoms of nasal polyps are recognized, in order to provide suitable and timely treatment. Also Read: Asthma: Causes, Diagnosis And Treatment
- Stuffy and congested nose
- Loss of sense of smell and sometimes, even taste
- Pain in the cheeks and forehead
- Snoring during deep sleep
- Mucous drip and bleeding from nose
Diagnosis And Treatment:
The ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) specialist or otolaryngologist will initially examine the external symptoms in the patient and thoroughly scan the nose with a flashlight, to look for any bulging tissue clusters.
Nasal endoscopy and CT (Computed tomography) imaging analyses are then performed, to inspect the sinuses, for the presence of nasal polyps.
In case any allergies or a lack of vitamin D are influencing the growth of polyps, the doctor will collect blood and skin tissue samples of the affected person, to determine if inflammatory components are present at high levels.
Once the diagnosis of nasal polyps is confirmed, the healthcare professional will prescribe nasal corticosteroids, alone or along with antihistamines, to reduce the size of the bumpy growths and relieve any signs of allergy.
These are recommended to be taken either orally or injected, depending upon the size of the polyps. This provides relief from nasal congestion and facilitates smooth drainage of excess mucous secretions via the sinuses.
In instances of several large polyps, the surgeon performs an endoscopic surgery, to completely remove polyp growths. Thus, it expands the nasal passage and sinus cavities, for the unobstructed flow of air and restores ease of breathing and sense of smell in the individual.