Nasal polyps
    
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Nasal polyps

Definition

Nasal polyps are small, sac-like growths consisting of inflamed nasal mucosa.

Causes

Nasal polyps start near the ethmoid sinuses (located at the top of the inside of the nose) and grow into the open areas. Large polyps may block the airway.

Children with nasal polyps sound congested and often breathe through their mouths because of chronic nasal obstruction. A runny nose is common.

Polyps are seen with asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever), chronic sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis. About one in four people with cystic fibrosis have nasal polyps.

Symptoms

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Mouth breathing
  • Voice (sounds as if person is congested)

Having any of the following conditions indicate a susceptibility to nasal polyps:

  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Sinus infections
  • Cystic fibrosis

Exams and Tests

Nasal examination reveals a grayish grape-like mass within the nasal cavity.

Treatment

Treatment may include medication, such as steroids (topical or systemic)or antibiotics. Surgery, such as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), may be necessary in some cases.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Surgical removal usually allows easier breathing through the nose.

Possible Complications

  • Infection
  • Bleeding

Nasal polyps may recur.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have persistent difficulty breathing through your nose.

Prevention

Although there is no real method of prevention, therapy aimed at the underlying cause can help. The use of nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy shots may help prevent the appearance of obstructive polyps.

Also, aggressive medical treatment of sinus infections is helpful.

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