Nasal polyps are usually benign growths in your nasal passages, and even this simple description gives you a fairly clear picture as to how they can affect your health. On the upper end of the scale, they can interfere with breathing; on the lower end, they don’t lead to any symptoms. And there’s a whole lot in between.
As ear, nose, and throat specialists, Dr. Timothy Queen and the team here at Advanced ENT & Allergy understand better than most the impact that nasal polyps can have, and we want to share what we’ve learned here.
A mostly benign issue
Nasal polyps are mostly benign, which is important when discussing growths. Nasal polyps develop in your nasal cavities — nasal passages and sinuses. The growths look like teardrops, and they hang down from (and are formed by) your mucous membranes.
These growths are typically found on both sides of your nasal passages — finding just one growth on one side might indicate a more serious tumor, which would be rare.
The road to nasal polyps
In most cases, nasal polyps are a result of constant or recurrent inflammation in your nasal passages, which explains why up to 20% of people with chronic rhinitis develop polyps. Now, if you consider that slightly more than one-quarter of people in the United States have seasonal allergies, you begin to understand just how common nasal polyps are.
Outside of hay fever, people with asthma, frequent sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis are also more vulnerable to nasal polyps.
When polyps become problematic
You might not be aware of nasal polyps because they don’t always lead to symptoms. However, if they grow large or numerous enough, you might experience:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of taste or smell
- Facial pain or pressure
With severe nasal polyps that block airways, you can experience difficulty breathing, night and day.
Tackling nasal polyps
If you suspect that you have nasal polyps that are giving you some trouble, we want you to come see us. After a thorough evaluation and a review of your symptoms, we can figure out the best steps for relieving your symptoms, which can include:
- Nasal steroid sprays
- Oral steroids
If the polyps don't respond to medications, we can turn to nasal surgery to remove the polyps. We perform This outpatient procedure using a minimally invasive technique called endoscopy.
As you can see, nasal polyps aren’t necessarily what we’d consider serious, but they can present more than a nuisance. Still, a nuisance that we’re more than equipped to handle.
Wherever your nasal polyps fall, for expert diagnosis and treatment of this common condition, please contact our office in Newport News, Virginia, to schedule an appointment.