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Nasal Polyps


Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Nasal Polyps Overview


  1. Cause: The exact cause of nasal polyps is not always clear, but they are often associated with chronic inflammation, frequently due to conditions like chronic rhinosinusitis. Other factors that may contribute include asthma, allergies, fungal infections, or certain immune disorders.
  2. Symptoms: Nasal polyps can lead to symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, postnasal drip, reduced sense of smell, facial pain or pressure, and frequent sinus infections. In some cases, they may also cause snoring or contribute to sleep apnea.
  3. Appearance: Nasal polyps are usually pale or yellowish and have a jelly-like consistency. They can vary in size, and multiple polyps may develop at the same time.
  4. Diagnosis: An Allergist/Immunologist along with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor can identify nasal polyps. In some cases, imaging studies like CT scans may be used to get a better view of the sinuses and identify nasal polyps in places we cannot see with a scope. Oftentimes, nasal allergies may concurrently occur in these patients which an Allergist can identify and treat to reduce the burden of disease.
  5. Treatment: Treatment options for nasal polyps aim to reduce inflammation, alleviate symptoms, and, in some cases, shrink or remove the polyps. Medications such as corticosteroids (oral or nasal spray) are commonly used. Severe cases or those unresponsive to medication may require newer biologic injections or surgical removal of the polyps.
  6. Management: While treatment can often provide relief, nasal polyps may recur, especially in individuals with underlying conditions such as chronic rhinosinusitis or asthma. Long-term management may involve ongoing medical therapy and lifestyle measures to control inflammation and prevent recurrence. The advent of newer biologic injections often administered by an Allergist has further helped to treat and prevent these polyps from recurring.

It’s important for individuals experiencing symptoms associated with nasal polyps to seek medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management. A healthcare professional can determine the most suitable treatment plan based on the severity of symptoms and the individual’s overall health.

FAQ



  • What Are Nasal Polyps?
What Are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths in the nasal passages or sinuses, resulting from chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa In the Western world, they are often consisting of a large number of eosinophils (allergy cells of the immune system).


  • Causes and Risk Factors
Causes and Risk Factors

Chronic inflammation, often linked to conditions like chronic rhinosinusitis, asthma, allergies, or immune disorders, is a common cause of nasal polyps.


  • Recognizing Symptoms
Recognizing Symptoms

Symptoms include nasal congestion, runny nose, reduced sense of smell, facial pain or pressure, and increased susceptibility to or incomplete resolution of sinus infections.


  • Diagnosis
Diagnosis

An Allergist/Immunologist along with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor can identify nasal polyps. In some cases, imaging studies like CT scans may be used to get a better view of the sinuses and identify nasal polyps in places we cannot see with a scope. Oftentimes, nasal allergies may concurrently occur in these patients which an allergist can identify and treat to reduce the burden of disease.


  • Treatment Options
Treatment Options

Treatment aims to reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. Medications, such as nasal irrigation, intranasal corticosteroids, are common, and newer biologic injections and surgical removal may be considered in severe cases.


  • Long-Term Management
Long-Term Management

Nasal polyps may recur, especially in individuals with underlying conditions. Long-term management involves ongoing medical therapy and lifestyle measures to prevent recurrence.


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