What are the Symptoms of Nasal Polyps?
If you’ve ever felt like you had a cold that just wouldn’t go away, you could be experiencing the symptoms of nasal polyps. Nasal polyps cause never-ending congestion despite the use of over-the-counter drugs such as cold medicine or allergy medications. We’re going to discuss everything you need to know about nasal polyps.
What Causes Nasal Polyps?
The mucosa is a very wet layer inside your nose that humidifies the air you breathe and protects your sinuses. Nasal polyps grow in this area when the tissue is inflamed. The formation occurs during a prolonged irritation from an infection or allergy-induced irritation. A polyp looks like a round growth or a small cyst and blocks nasal passages. It is possible to develop polyps with no previous nasal issues, but some specific triggers include the following:
- Recurring sinus infections
- Hay fever
- Cystic fibrosis
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
- Sensitivity to medications such as ibuprofen or aspirin
A predisposition to nasal polyps can be genetic, as well.
What Symptoms Occur with Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are soft and painless. They usually occur in the area of your nose where your eyes, cheekbones, and nose meet. You might not even notice a polyp has grown because of the lack of nerve sensation they have. However, some grow large enough to block your nasal passages which results in chronic congestion. Common symptoms include:
- Feeling like your nose is blocked
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Reduced sense of smell
- Feeling as though you have to breathe through your mouth
- Pressure in your forehead and/or face
- Sleep apnea
Headaches are common as well if a sinus infection occurs in addition to the polyp.
What are the Treatments for Nasal Polyps?
Anti-inflammatory medications might help reduce the size of the polyp and relieve your congestion. Nasal spray steroids are an option as well. They will help relieve your runny nose, but if you stop taking them, your symptoms will quickly return. An oral or injectable steroid can be helpful if nasal sprays don’t work, but they’re not a long-term solution because of some serious side effects.
Surgery is a treatment option if you can’t seem to get a hold of your symptoms. The procedure depends on the size of the polyp, so it’s best to discuss these options with your ENT doctor based on your case. Nose sprays and saline washes are done after surgery to prevent polyps from returning.
If you feel that you might be experiencing the symptoms of a nasal polyp and you live in the Longview area, call East Texas Sinus and Dizziness Center today! We can set up a consultation for you with one of our experts to discuss your symptoms and determine a treatment plan. Don’t forget to visit us on Facebook as well!