Nasal polyps are a condition of the nose that exhibits soft, painless growths on the lining of the nasal passages and sinuses. These are non-cancerous and can affect people of any age. However, they are more commonly seen in adults.
Is Nasal Polyps A Serious Condition?
Nasal polyps are soft and there is no sensation in them. Hence, if you have small polyps, you may not even know about their presence. If they are multiple in number or grow bigger in size, they may cause blockage in nasal passages and sinuses. This may result in-
- Stuffiness inside the nose which is persistent
- A runny nose
- Postnasal drip or drainage inside the throat
- Loss or reduction in sense of smell
- Loss or reduction in sense of taste
- Headaches which may become severe
- Pain in the face, especially over forehead and brows
- Pain in the face over cheeks
- Pain in upper teeth
- Feeling pressure over your head and forehead
- Nosebleeds that are frequent(1)
- The blockages can cause a serious obstruction in breathing and may give you a feeling of choking.
Can Nasal Polyps Be Reversed?
Nasal polyps can be reversed. They can be shrunk or removed completely with the help of medicines if they are smaller in size and lesser in number. However, larger or polyps in a large number cannot be cured by medicines and surgical removal is needed for such polyps. Having said that, there is still a chance that polyps may recur, despite the successful removal through surgery. The treatment includes-
Treating With Medication-
The treatment of nasal polyps usually starts with medicines, which help in shrinking even some larger polyps or sometimes even remove them completely. These may include-
- Nasal, oral or injectable.
- Other medicines
- These are in the form of a spray
- They reduce irritation and inflammation
- They may shrink the polyps or remove them completely
- These may include fluticasone, mometasone, beclomethasone, etc.(2)
- If the nasal corticosteroids fail to give results, your doctor may prescribe oral corticosteroids like prednisone
- These may be given in combination with the nasal sprays or alone
However, these may cause some serious side-effects. Hence, these cannot be used for the long term and should be used only with proper medical recommendation(2)
- These may be recommended in case of severe nasal polyps
- Those nasal polyps that do not get shrunk or removed with nasal or oral corticosteroids, usually require injectable corticosteroids to deal with them(2)
- These may include medicines for treating those conditions which are responsible for causing nasal polyps, inflammation, and irritation.
- For example, antihistamines may be prescribed for allergies and likewise
- These may help in clearing the source of the problem, thereby providing relief from the symptoms of nasal polyps.(2)
- If medicines are not helpful in shrinking or removing the polyps, there may be a need for surgical removal of the polyps.
- This may be done with endoscopic surgery, which can help in removing nasal polyps as well as correcting problems within the sinuses
- This is done with the help of an endoscope. This method is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
- The opening of the sinuses may also be enlarged with this procedure, to provide easy drainage from the sinuses
- A corticosteroid nasal spray is usually given after the surgery to help prevent polyps from recurring
- Saltwater nasal rinse may also be recommended to promote faster healing, upon advice from the doctor.(2)
Nasal polyps may not even be noticed by many people, even though they may be having them for years. However, in others, they may cause some serious breathing problems, headaches, etc. nasal polyps can be treated with medicines. They can be shrunk or removed completely. When that is not possible, surgery is an option.