What do you mean by Nasal Polyps?

Nasal Polyps are small oval or tear shaped non cancerous growth in the nose or sinuses. Sinuses are the hollow areas in the skull covering the cheeks, forehead, between the brows and the nose bone.

The polyps or small swellings look like grapes. The polyps can be large also. Polyps which are a common condition, grow in the nasal cavity or the sinuses, and are formed due to inflammation. Children are least affected.

What are the characteristics of Nasal Polyps?

Some of the characteristic of Nasal Polyps are:

Nasal Polyps look like small seedless grapes and maybe pink, yellow or grey in colour. If small, Nasal Polyps show no symptoms. The larger ones block normal drainage from the sinuses. They are a non cancerous growth of different sizes and are not painful to touch.

What causes Nasal Polyps?

Causes of Nasal Polyps though unknown, may be due to asthma and allergies or pre-existence in the family medical history. Chronic infections and foreign particles in the nasal cavity or sinuses can also cause Nasal Polyps.

What are the susceptibility factors associated with Nasal Polyps?

The factors associated with Nasal Polyps are:

  • Age of over 40 in both men and women but men are more likely to be affected.

  • Chronic asthma or allergies may be the cause but sometimes Nasal Polyps can lead to asthma and allergies

  • Some sinus infections may lead to accumulation of mucus in the sinus resulting in build-up of Nasal Polyps

  • Diminished drainage and swelling in the sinus may form Nasal Polyps

What are the signs and symptoms of Nasal Polyps?

Symptoms of Nasal Polyps include:

  • Nasal Congestion

  • Nasal Obstruction

  • Inability to ‘smell’ and taste

  • Itching around the eyes

  • Facial pain

  • Sneezing and runny nose

  • Other infections and allergic reactions

What are the complications in Nasal Polyps?

With Nasal Polyps, one has an increased risk of developing chronic sinusitis. Some of the Nasal Polyps symptoms develop into asthmatic condition with wheezing and sensitivity to odours, fumes and dust and pollution.

In some cases, when the Nasal Polyps are large, they can tear the nasal bone apart and broaden the nasal bridge which can have an adverse effect on personality and self esteem.

Allergic reaction as a result of aspirin allergy and yellow colour dye allergy with Nasal Polyps can be life threatening.

How is Nasal Polyps diagnosed?

Nasal Polyp is diagnosed by ENT Specialist by its symptoms. Large nasal polyps are visible on physical examination but smaller ones have to be seen through an Endoscope. Occasionally a MRI or CT may be needed.

Polyps form in both the nostrils. If there is a growth in one nostril and there is bleeding from the nose, then Biopsy may be required to rule out the possibility of cancerous growth.

Are Nasal Polyps curable?

There seems to be no permanent cure for Nasal Polyps, only the symptoms can be treated. The condition is recurring so even surgery as an option is not that viable. Since Nasal Polyp is the cause of other conditions like asthma and allergies and vice versa, the treatment of the other conditions can help manage the symptoms.

Leading a healthy lifestyle, avoiding the susceptibility factors which can trigger reactions, lots of hot fluid intake can help one lead a healthy life along with medication options as suggested by the Doctor.

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