Nasal polyps result from an overgrowth of soft, painless, and noncancerous tissues in the sinuses, or the passage of the nose that hangs like a grape. They are a result of chronic inflammation and have a connection with allergies, asthma, drug sensitivity, recurring infection, or various immune conditions.
Small nasal polyps may not affect you, but a large group of nasal polyps can lead to breathing problems or block the passage of your nose completely. People who have this abnormal growth can also experience frequent infections and a loss of the sense of smell.
This condition can affect all age groups but is more common in adults. In some cases, medication can eliminate or shrink nasal polyps, but if this doesn’t work, your only option is surgery. In some cases, polyps can grow back after surgery and property treatment.
Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
You may have nasal polyps due to chronic sinusitis (swelling and irritation of the lining of sinuses and the nasal passage that lasts more than 12 weeks). Another possibility is that you have chronic sinusitis, not nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps are soft, without any sensation. Therefore, you might not notice them when they are small. A large of multiple polyps may block your sinuses and the nasal passage. Symptoms and common signs of chronic sinusitis along with nasal polyps include:
- Stuffiness in the nose
- Runny nose
- Postnasal dripping
- Headache and facial pain
- Upper teeth pain
- Bleeding nose
- Pressure over your face and forehead
- Lacking a sense of smell and taste
Diagnosis of Nasal Polyps
Dr. Michael Burnett, an ENT surgeon in our clinic, usually diagnoses the condition by asking some questions, examining your nose, and conducting a general physical examination. An instrument with a light on it may easily highlight the Polyps. Other diagnostic tests to identify Polyps include:
1. Nasal Endoscopy
The nasal endoscope is a narrow tube that contains a tiny camera or lighted magnifying lens that helps in examining the inside of your sinuses and the inner side of your nose.
2. Imaging Studies
Computerized tomography or CT can obtain images that help the doctor locate Polyps in deeper areas. Doctors can also identify the size of polyps, evaluate the irritation, and swelling using this technique. This method can also identify other possibilities of blockage in your nasal cavities, such as the abnormality of the structure or any cancerous or noncancerous growth.
3. Allergy Tests
Skin tests can determine if you have chronic inflammation due to an allergy. A skin prick test involves pricking allergens from your upper back skin or forearm to observe signs of an allergic reaction.
4. Test for Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is a condition that genetically affects the glands of your child, producing sweat, mucus, tears, digestive juices, and saliva. If your child has nasal polyps, this test can further help determine the presence of cystic fibrosis. The doctor will examine the saltiness of your child’s sweat. Excessive saltiness may point to the presence of cystic fibrosis.
5. Blood Test
Blood tests may also help identify the condition. For instance, Nasal Polyps are associated with a low level of vitamin D.
Risk Factors of Nasal Polyps
Long-term inflammation and swelling in your nasal area or sinuses can increase the risk of developing polyps. Conditions that lead to nasal polyps include:
- Aspirin sensitivity
- Asthma – This is a disease that causes your airway to become narrow.
- Vitamin D deficiency – Lack of vitamin D can also lead to nasal polyps
- Family History – You may also be at risk of developing this condition due to hereditary reasons.
- Cystic Fibrosis – This is also a genetic disorder that produces abnormally thick and sticky fluids in the body. This fluid includes the development of excessive mucus in the sinus and nasal linings.
- Allergic Fungal Sinusitis – This allergy spreads through airborne fungi and leads to nasal polyps.
- Churg-Strauss Syndrome – This is a rare disease caused due to the swelling of blood vessels.
Nasal Polyps can cause complications as a result of blocked airflow and the presence of fluid that does not drain away. Moreover, this condition may also develop inflammation and irritation with time. If symptoms of this condition last for more than ten days, you should immediately visit a doctor to avoid serious circumstances.
Dr. Michael Burnett is the best ENT doctor in NYC, an expert in treating a wide variety of sinus, nose, and throat conditions.
To schedule an appointment, please call us at 212-867-4813.