Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, is a common condition that affects millions of Americans each year. While many people have some understanding of what causes a sinus infection, a sizable portion of those who suffer from chronic sinusitis also have nasal polyps – a condition that far fewer know about or understand. In this blog, the ENT physicians at DFW Sinus Select will explain what nasal polyps are and how they are connected to sinus infections.
A Simple Overview of Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps are soft growths that develop within the sinuses and nasal passages. These non-cancerous, tear-shaped growths can vary in size from small to large. They often develop in the area where the sinuses open up into the nasal cavity. The larger the growths, the more difficulty the sinuses may have with proper drainage and the more likely that nasal obstruction will be a recurring problem. This is because nasal polyps can effectively narrow the small sinus drainage openings.
While painless, nasal polyps can cause some frustrating symptoms, including:
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Runny nose
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
- Recurring sinusitis
The Connection Between Nasal Polyps and Sinusitis
While not all cases of chronic sinusitis are caused by nasal polyps, there is a direct relationship between the two. When nasal polyps obstruct or hinder normal sinus drainage, they can lead you on the path to long-lasting (i.e. chronic) or repeat cases of acute sinusitis. This is because polyps can make it difficult for mucus within the sinus cavities to drain, resulting in mucus build-up, inflammation, and ultimately, infection. The end result is terrible sinus pressure, pain and headaches, among other symptoms.
At the same time, medical researchers have discovered evidence that the constant inflammation that comes with chronic sinusitis may actually encourage the development of nasal polyps. Here you have a vicious circle of chronic sinusitis creating nasal polyps, which in turn can prevent normal sinus drainage and lead to sinusitis.
Along with sinusitis, there are a handful of other disorders that are also associated with nasal polyps. Both asthma and allergic rhinitis have been linked to the formation of nasal polyps, so a medical evaluation is recommended if you suffer from either condition. In addition, nasal polyps can be hereditary. So if a close family member has been diagnosed with nasal polyps, there is a greater chance that you will develop them too.
Get Treatment for Nasal Polyps and Sinusitis in Dallas/Fort Worth
While nasal polyps and sinus infections can cause a host of unpleasant symptoms, the good news is that there are treatment options that can help improve both nasal polyps and sinusitis.
The first step is to set up an evaluation with one of the specialists at DFW Sinus Select. We offer numerous locations throughout the Dallas/Forth Worth area, so you have access to the best care, close to home.
Contact DFW Sinus Select today to schedule your appointment. It is the first step to a more comfortable life, free from nasal polyps and sinusitis. Our specialists will be glad to answer all of your questions explain your treatment options.