What Are Nasal Polyps and How Are They Treated?

A patient’s sinuses can get inflamed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a severe inflammation can turn into a polyp, a small, spongy growth inside the nose. This can cause flu-like symptoms that don’t go away on their own. If you believe you might have nasal polyps, you should speak to an expert, who will suggest various treatment options. While surgery is a possibility, most people with polyps first receive medication.

What Are Nasal Polyps?

A nasal polyp is a soft, grape-like growth on the inside lining of the nose. It is noncancerous and not generally dangerous, but it can cause a number of unpleasant side effects. People with polyps often experience flu-like symptoms such as a runny nose and a reduced sense of taste or smell for a prolonged period of time. A postnasal drip, which triggers the constant need to swallow, is also common.

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It’s not currently clear what causes polyps. Experts believe that an abnormal immune response could be behind the issue, but research is still ongoing. If you’re experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should contact a nose specialist to find out whether you have a polyp and to get the treatment you need.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Polyps in the nose affect up to 4% of the population, so they are relatively common and easily treatable. Most of the time, the issue can be addressed with non-surgical interventions. When you first visit your clinic, the doctor might suggest a nasal steroid spray, an oral steroid, a saline rinse, or an antibiotic treatment. While these medications have a short-term effect, they can help relieve the symptoms and allow you to live a normal life.

To get rid of or decrease the size of the polyps more permanently, the doctor might administer other medications such as steroid rinses or Xhance. The latter is a prescription drug designed to get rid of stubborn polyps that can’t be addressed with steroids. Around two weeks after you start taking medication, you should start to feel relief. Over time, the size of your polyp will decrease.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Sometimes, medications aren’t enough to get rid of stubborn nasal polyps. After you’ve tried the above-named methods for several months without success, your doctor might suggest endoscopic sinus surgery. This is a minimally invasive operation that allows the surgeon to address the problem without cutting into your mouth or face. Instead, the entire procedure is completed through the nose.

During ESS, the surgeon aims to clear your nasal pathways and remove any blockages, so you can once again breathe easily. Because your sinus openings will be widened, it is easier for medication to reach the treatment area after surgery is complete. Therefore, patients who have undergone sinus surgery usually respond better to drugs after their operation.

Polyps in the nose aren’t generally a cause for concern unless they cause severe symptoms. If you’re struggling with issues such as a postnasal drip, a blocked nose, a runny nose, or snoring, you should see your sinus specialist. They can confirm whether you have polyps and, if so, offer you various treatments. In most cases, polyps are treated nonsurgically, but there is a minimally invasive operation available.

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