woman suffering from runny noseNasal polyps are common, noncancerous, teardrop-shaped growths that form in the nasal passages or sinuses. They can occur as a result of chronic inflammation, but it’s not completely understood why some people develop them and others don’t.

Small nasal polyps may cause no symptoms and require no treatment. However, if you have large or multiple polyps they can block mucus from draining normally from your sinuses and as excessive amounts of mucus accumulate, an infection may develop.

In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain how in some instances, nasal polyps can be treated without surgery.

 

What are the symptoms of nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps, especially if they’re large or if you have multiple growths, can cause the following symptoms:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Nasal congestion
  • A runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Postnasal drip (mucus noticeably draining down the back of your throat)
  • A decreased sense of smell (hyposmia)
  • Loss of sense of smell (anosmia) or taste
  • Headache
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Snoring
  • Itching around your eyes
  • Chronic infections

 

What are the causes of nasal polyps?

Many times the cause of nasal polyps is unknown. They may be linked to long-term inflammation, and they may also run in families. Sometimes the formation of nasal polyps precedes the development of asthma or sinusitis (sinus infection).

Chronic sinusitis – sinus infection that lasts for at least 12 weeks – can occur with or without the presence of nasal polyps, and finding a treatment that works completely can be a challenge.

The goal of nasal polyp treatment is to shrink or eliminate them.

What treatments are used for nasal polyps?

Medications are often the first type of nasal polyp treatment that’s used. This conservative, noninvasive approach can sometimes make even larger polyps shrink or disappear.

Medications that are commonly used in nasal polyp treatment include the following:

Nasal corticosteroids: These prescription nasal sprays are often the first type of medication that’s used, and they can help reduce inflammation and cause nasal polyps to shrink or disappear.

Oral and injectable corticosteroids: An oral corticosteroid can sometimes be used if a nasal corticosteroid isn’t working well enough. Oral corticosteroids can, however, cause serious side effects, so they’re usually only appropriate for short-term use. If you have severe nasal polyps, corticosteroids may also be administered via injection.

Other medications: Other types of drugs can be used to help reduce chronic inflammation in your sinuses or nasal passages. Antihistamines can be used to treat allergies, and antibiotics can be used to combat infection.

Aspirin desensitization: In some cases, patients may develop nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis as a reaction to aspirin or medications that contain aspirin. Even if they avoid aspirin, they may continue to have symptoms. If this is the case, they may benefit from aspirin desensitization, which involves administering small doses of aspirin in gradually increasing levels.

Surgery can be used to shrink or eliminate nasal polyps, but it’s only used when drug treatment isn’t effective.

 

Where can I find nasal polyp treatment in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?

DFW Sinus Select is a medical practice that’s dedicated to the care, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders related to the nose and sinuses.

At DFW Sinus Select, our board-certified sinus doctors provide the highest level of specialty medical care in a personalized, compassionate manner.

To learn if you’re suffering from nasal polyps, it’s important to visit your DFW Sinus Select ear, nose, and throat specialist (ENT). Our doctors will accurately diagnose your condition and offer the latest and most effective nasal polyp treatment.