Nasal polyps are painless, fleshy growths that can develop when the lining of the nose and/or sinuses is inflamed and swells to form a polyp. If they become too large or if there is a cluster of them, it can lead to nasal congestion, infections, a loss of your sense of smell, and breathing difficulties.
These polyps are noncancerous, are usually teardrop-shaped, and can vary in size. They can block the sinuses and nasal passages, but the nasal polyps themselves do not have any physical sensitivity so they will not cause pain per se.
Nasal polyps are rare in children and often affect young or middle-aged adults. They are also far more common in males. The exact cause of this type of polyp is not fully understood, but some medical experts believe that there is a genetic and immune system connection to whether a person is susceptible to developing them.
What Are the Symptoms of Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps do not always present symptoms, and they can be difficult to identify as you are unlikely to be able to see or feel them. The polyps can cause similar symptoms to that of a cold, sinusitis, or an allergy – but whereas a cold-type virus will get better within a few days, large or abundant nasal polyps can cause a number of signs and long-term symptoms that may include:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
- Decreased sense of smell and/or taste
- Sinus headaches
- Facial pain
- Increased need to swallow (post-nasal drip)
- Breathing difficulties
- Sleep apnea (in severe cases)
How Can They Be Prevented?
Although no one can completely avoid getting nasal polyps, there are things that you can do in order to reduce your risk of developing them. If you suffer with asthma or allergies, you can help to reduce your chances of getting nasal polyps by properly managing your condition and by following guidance from your doctor. This may include:
- Avoiding allergens, chemicals, or airborne pollutants
- Using a saline spray to keep the nasal passage clear and remove allergens
- Taking allergy medicine as prescribed or recommended
- Using a humidifier at home if the air is particularly dry
Why Does Someone Get Nasal Polyps?
There are a number of factors that have been identified as increasing your risk of developing nasal polyps, and these factors include:
- Having asthma
- Having respiratory allergies or rhinitis
- A family history of nasal polyps
- Sensitivity to aspirin and certain other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Having cystic fibrosis
Treatment for Nasal Polyps in Georgetown, TX
If you think you may have nasal polyps or are suffering with a nose or sinus problem, then schedule an evaluation at Georgetown ENT with our ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Scott W. Franklin. Dr. Franklin has many years of experience in otolaryngology, and he can quickly and efficiently diagnose and treat your condition.
For more information about the conditions we treat and the services we provide, contact our friendly staff today by calling us at (512) 869-0604 or by filling out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!