Many people have nasal polyps and aren’t even aware of them. These polyps are soft-tissue growths that are painless and hang like teardrops in the lining of the nose or sinuses. If your nasal polyps become large, or if there are many clustered together, it can cause nasal congestion and infections, and may even lead to losing your sense of smell.
Nasal polyps develop due to chronic inflammation, which can occur with sinus infections, allergies, and certain immune system disorders. Although nasal polyps can grow as a result of chronic sinusitis, it is possible to have chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps.
How Can I Tell if I Have Nasal Polyps?
It is unlikely you will see or feel nasal polyps, especially because the polyps lack sensation. But large or abundant nasal polyps can lead to the following chronic signs and symptoms:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
- Decreased sense of taste and smell
- Sinus headaches
- Facial pain
- Difficulty breathing
Many signs and symptoms of nasal polyps also occur with more familiar ailments, like the common cold or allergies. The only way to be sure you have nasal polyps is to visit an ENT physician like Dr. Scott Franklin in Georgetown, Texas, who will use special equipment to look inside your nose and/or sinus passageways to make a diagnosis.
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Risk Factors of Nasal Polyps
Many doctors believe there is a genetic and immune system connection to whether a person develops nasal polyps. Those with a family history of nasal polyps are also more likely to develop them.
In addition, nasal polyps occur most often in people with the following conditions:
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
- Chronic sinus infections
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- Cystic fibrosis
Your Treatment Options for Nasal Polyps
The first line of treatment for nasal polyps that cause problematic symptoms is medication. This may include oral or nasal sprays containing corticosteroids to help reduce inflammation. Antihistamines and decongestants may also be used to relieve your symptoms.
However, if medication is not effective for you, or if your symptoms or condition is severe, Dr. Franklin may recommend surgery. The standard procedure used to remove nasal polyps is a functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS.
During this minimally invasive outpatient procedure, Dr. Franklin inserts a lighted endoscope through the nostrils into the nasal or sinus passageways to remove nasal polyps without damaging surrounding tissue.
If you have allergies, asthma, or other sensitivities and have the FESS procedure, you may need ongoing medication to ensure the polyps don’t grow back. It may also be a good idea to undergo allergy testing to identify precisely what is bothering you. That way, targeted treatment such as immunotherapy (allergy drops) can effectively relieve your symptoms.
Depending on your particular health history, Dr. Franklin may recommend certain lifestyle changes after a FESS procedure that can help prevent polyps from recurring, such as using a saline rinse or humidifier in your home.
Nasal Polyps Treatment in Georgetown, TX
Do you think you may have nasal polyps that are contributing to your nose or sinus problems? Schedule an evaluation by ENT specialist Dr. Scott W. Franklin of Georgetown ENT. The sooner you are accurately diagnosed, the sooner you can treat the issue. Call our Georgetown, Texas ENT office at (512) 869-0604 or request your appointment now.