If you deal with chronic nasal congestion, postnasal drip, or sinus infections, you are probably desperate for relief. Many different problems can cause these symptoms, but if you’ve been trying different remedies with no relief, you may be dealing with nasal polyps. Nasal polyps aren’t life-threatening, but they can cause symptoms that disrupt your life. Read on to learn more about this condition.
What are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are soft growths that form in the sinuses or nasal cavities. They are not cancerous and usually not painful, though their growth can cause pain in the surrounding areas. Nasal polyps can occur at any age but are mostly found in adult patients.
Small polyps usually don’t cause any symptoms, so most patients do not know they have them. However, larger polyps can cause inflammation and obstruct the nasal passages and cause a person to have a variety of nose and sinus issues. Common symptoms include a chronically runny or stuffy nose, frequent postnasal drip, headaches, sinus pressure, and chronic sinusitis. Not all cases of chronic sinusitis are caused by nasal polyps though. If you’re dealing with this issue, your doctor will be able to determine the exact cause of your sinus infections.
Treating and Preventing Nasal Polyps
If you have nasal polyps, there are a few different treatment options available. The first treatment offered to patients is usually medication, which will target the polyps and help to keep the nasal passages clear. If over-the-counter sinus infection or allergy medication does not relieve your symptoms, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic or nasal steroid spray to give you relief.
If your nasal polyps do not respond to the prescription medication, your doctor might also recommend surgery. Small polyps can be removed in an outpatient procedure called a polypectomy which uses a small suction device to remove the polyps. Larger polyps might require laparoscopic sinus surgery. During this procedure, your doctor will use insert a small camera into your nostril to monitor your polyps during removal. While this procedure is more involved than a polypectomy, it is still usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
When to See Your Doctor
If you suspect you are dealing with chronic sinusitis or have other persistent nasal or sinus issues, make an appointment with an ENT to check for nasal polyps. Your doctor will be able to easily diagnose these polyps in their office. If you have them, addressing them might finally provide you with sinus relief.
Following your doctor’s instructions can also help you to prevent more polyps in the future. While this isn’t a guarantee for everyone, your ENT will be able to determine the cause of your polyps and recommend home remedies and triggers to avoid. Working these into your lifestyle (along with your medication) can help you feel better.
Do you think you might have nasal polyps? Don’t wait to get your symptoms checked. Contact Dr. Michael Burnett at 212-867-4813 to schedule an ENT appointment today.