Nasal polyps are sac-like growths of inflamed tissue lining the nose (nasal mucosa) or sinuses.
See also: Sinusitis
Nasal polyps typically start near the ethmoid sinuses (located at the top of the inside of the nose) and grow into the open areas. Large polyps can block the sinuses or nasal airway.
People with the following conditions are more likely to also have nasal polyps:
People with nasal polyps often complain about having a cold that has lasted for months or years.
Headaches or pain are NOT common unless there is also a sinus infection.
Examining the nose shows a grayish grape-like mass in the nasal cavity.
A CT scan of the sinuses will show opaque (cloudy) spots where the polyps are.
Medications help relieve symptoms but rarely get rid of nasal polyps.
Some people may need surgery, such as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).
Removing the polyps with surgery usually makes it easier to breathe through the nose. Over time, however, nasal polyps often return. Reduced or lost sense of smell does not always improve following treatment with medicines or surgery.
Nasal polyps may come back.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you regularly have difficulty breathing through your nose.
Although there is no real way to prevent nasal polyps, therapy aimed at the cause can help. Nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy shots may help prevent polyps that block the airway.
Also, aggressive medical treatment of sinus infections is helpful.