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How Common Is Nasal Polyps Or Is It A Rare Disease?

Nasal polyps are common conditions caused due to chronic allergic reactions. The condition is mostly found in adults while it is rare in children. Prevalence of nasal polyps is around 1-4%.

How Common Is Nasal Polyps Or Is It A Rare Disease?

A nasal polyp is not a rare disease, rather it is a common condition. It is because of the reason that nasal polyps may be developed due to various underlying conditions which are common. The causes of nasal polyps include asthma, a common chronic condition, aspirin sensitivity, Churg-Strauss syndrome, cystic fibrosis, allergic fungal sinusitis, chronic allergy, and Kartagener syndrome. Further, the adults are more vulnerable to nasal polyps as compared to younger people1.

According to an estimate, almost four percent of the people are affected by one or the other form of nasal polyps2. Bassam polyps generally occur on both sides of the nasal cavity lining. One-sided nasal polyps are not common and may be due to various underlying conditions. On the basis of causes of nasal polyps, the most frequent one is the aspirin intolerance. Almost 36% of the patient suffering from nasal polyps has them because of aspirin intolerance. Almost 20% of all the cases of nasal polyps are caused due to cystic fibrosis.

Nasal polyps are common in adults while the condition is rare in children, as almost 0.1% of the total patients of nasal polyps are children. Asthma is the causative factor in almost 7% of the patients3. It is also to be noted that patients with nonallergic asthma are more prone to nasal polyps as compared to nonallergic asthma. Surgical removal of nasal polyps is known as polypectomy.

Approximately 40% of the patient with polypectomy has nasal polyp recurrence. Proper management after polypectomy is required to reduce the risk of its recurrence. Male are more vulnerable to nasal polyps as compared to females when adults are considered. As this is rare in children, no data on gender differentiation of nasal polyps is available in children.

Multiple polyps may be seen in young people with the age of 20 years or above and are most common in people over 40 years of age. It is also to be noted that children with cystic fibrosis are highly prone to nasal polyps and approximately 6-48% of the children suffering from cystic fibrosis have nasal polyps. There is no bias of occurrence of nasal polyps in recs and ethnicities and it is equally prevalent in people of all races and ethnicities. There is no geographical distribution variation as the incidence of nasal polyps in the United States is similar to worldwide incidence.

Prevalence of nasal polyps is also studied in the hilly regions4 as the climate and environmental conditions are different in hilly areas. It has been found that nasal polyps are of common occurrence in the hilly region. The condition is most prevalent in the middle-aged men and the most common symptoms include nasal congestion and nasal discharge. Nasal infection is one of the main reasons for nasal polyps while asthma and allergy are other main causes of nasal polyps.

Nasal polyps are caused due to chronic inflammation. The condition is thought to be caused due to the hyperactive immune system in response to an allergy. The tissue of the inner lining of the nasal cavity grows occupying a significant portion of the nasal cavity. This leads to a blocked nose, difficulty breathing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and nasal congestion. As the mucus flow is disrupted, the pressure is created in the sinus cavity leading to a headache; risk of infection increases in nasal polyps. Main causes of nasal polyps are an allergy, cystic fibrosis, and nasal polyps. In severe cases of nasal polyps, treatment is required.


A nasal polyp is a common condition. People over 40 years of age are at high risk for nasal polyps. A nasal polyp is more common in men as compared to women and has its existence in all races and ethnicities.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 21, 2019

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