Nasal polyps are growths that reside within the nose or the sinuses in the area where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity. Polyps vary in size and may present as yellowish-brown or pink in color. Polyps are shaped like teardrops and can resemble grapes on a stem. Involvement may include one nostril or both nostrils. Because symptoms are not always present with polyps, there is difficulty in knowing how frequently they occur.
People with nasal polyps frequently present with a runny nose, sneezing, and post nasal drip. Problems with sense of smell are not uncommon. Chronic sinusitis is a product of nasal polyps, and large polyps can alter the shape of your nose. The common symptoms of nasal polyps include the following:
People who are over 40 years of age are the most likely group to have nasal polyps, and men are more inclined to get polyps than women. Children rarely show signs of nasal polyps. There is a connection involving nasal polyps and allergic rhinitis, asthma, aspirin allergy, sinus infections, sleep apnea, and cystic fibrosis.
Do you suspect you may have nasal polyps? If you do, make an appointment with a healthcare professional for a thorough examination. A physician can examine the inside of your nose with a nasal endoscope and obtain a highly detailed view of your nose and sinuses. If the findings indicate treatment, you will most likely begin with a nasal corticosteroid. This treatment will often shrink or even eliminate the nasal polyp. A corticosteroid such as prednisone by mouth is another treatment option. If you have an infection accompanying the nasal polyps, your healthcare provider may give you antihistamines or antibiotics. If the nasal polyps are large, surgery to remove the polyps may be an option.
Researchers are currently looking at nasal polyp tissue to learn more about allergic inflammation. The team is hoping to find out why chronic allergic conditions persist after the removal of nasal polyps. The researchers tested tissue samples from 12 patients with nasal polyps and other sinus conditions and tested them against tissue from healthy volunteers. The findings indicate that nasal polyps permanently alter the cells that line the airways and the researchers mapped this action. This study provides a cellular map of inflamed tissue known as type 2 inflammation which involves immune cells that trigger an immune response. The team plans to use the map to predict disease states and direct therapy.
Nasal polyps are troublesome and often challenging to diagnose and treat. If you are experiencing a stuffy nose, sneezing, facial pain, or a loss of taste, it may be time to book an appointment with a healthcare provider. A visual examination can determine the presence of polyps and your practitioner can prescribe a course of therapy for the treatment of nasal polyps.