Nasal polyps are growths that develop on the lining of sinuses and nasal passages. These are soft, painless and non-cancerous. They seem to be like teardrops or grapes, hanging down. They are associated with conditions like asthma, allergies, drug reactions or immunity disorders.
Nasal polyps may not even be noticeable in many people who have them. They may not produce any symptoms. In others, nasal polyps may cause severe problems like airway obstruction, loss of sense of smell and taste, headaches, stuffiness, breathing problems, etc. Nasal polyps are seen at any age, but more commonly in adults.
What Is The Prognosis For Nasal Polyps?
The prognosis for nasal polyps is generally good. Nasal polyps can be treated and even cured in many cases. Most people with nasal polyps can control their symptoms with medication. Treating the underlying cause can also help in controlling symptoms of nasal polyps. Allergy treatments may help in reducing inflammation and irritation. When medicines do not work, surgical removal of polyps may be an option to treat the condition. Removal of polyps can help in improved breathing. Prolonged medical treatment is usually required in both, medical and surgical treatment of polyps, as polyps tend to recur. Continued treatment may help in preventing polyps from recurring.(1)
Many people may have nasal polyps and may not even be aware of its presence. They may not cause much trouble in many people. People who have small and soft polyps may benefit from medicines, which can shrink or remove the polyps altogether. Those who do not benefit from medicines, surgical removal of polyps might be an option for them. Polyps, however, do tend to recur, even after successful completion of treatment or even despite surgical removal. Prolonged treatment may help in preventing the recurrence of nasal polyps. The treatment may include-
- Corticosteroids in local, oral or injectable form.
- Other medicines to treat the root cause of the problem
- Medications may include nasal, oral or injectable corticosteroids.
- Nasal corticosteroids are usually in the form of a spray. Examples are fluticasone, mometasone, etc.
- These may help in shrinking or even removing nasal polyps completely
- These may also help in reducing the irritation and inflammation of nasal passages
- When nasal sprays do not work, oral corticosteroids may be recommended
- These may be given alone or together with nasal sprays
- Examples include prednisone
- These may prove to be more effective than nasal sprays in some cases
- However, these cannot be taken for a long duration because of their side effects
- Injectable corticosteroids are used in severe cases of nasal polyps when nasal and oral medicines do not work
Other medicines may be given to treat the underlying cause so that the symptoms of nasal polyps are reduced. Examples may include giving antihistamines for treating allergies and likewise(2)
Nasal Polyps Surgery-
- Surgery is needed when medicines are not able to shrink or remove the polyps and in severe cases of polyps.
- Endoscopic surgery is performed to remove the polyps
- Polyps and other substances that may be blocking your nasal passages are removed through this procedure
- The openings of sinuses that drain into the nasal passage may be enlarged with the help of endoscopy
- This surgery is usually carried out as an outpatient procedure(2)
- Prolonged treatment with sprays or oral medications may be required to prevent recurrence of nasal polyps.
Studies and researches are going on in the field of biologic drugs and their effects on various conditions like asthma and allergies. This might be a breakthrough for those people in which the treatment with corticosteroids and surgery have failed to give positive results.(2)
Nasal polyps can be treated in most people. They may be shrunk or removed completely with the help of medicines or surgery. Recurrence is common though. Prolonged treatment may be necessary to prevent nasal polyps from recurring.