Nasal polyps are benign growths that develop from the inner mucosal lining of the nose. They are painless and soft, and usually appear as the same color of surrounding tissue. These polyps hang from the nasal passages and sinuses, and are somewhat shaped like teardrops. They are the result of chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa. Though they may be painless, their presence may cause difficulty in breathing due to obstructing the nasal passages and cavity.
If you have noticed a growth or flesh obstructing your nasal passage and feel as though your breathing is being affected, you might have a polyp that needs to be treated. We recommend some of the Best ENT specialist in Lahore, if you reside in the city.
The polyps themselves are painless, as mentioned before, because they lack nerve sensation. Sometimes people may not even know they have them as a result. However, there are complications and symptoms that can arise if the nasal polyps block the nasal passages. These include:
- Slight difficulty breathing, resulting in breathing through the mouth and snoring during sleep
- A runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Loss of sense of smell
- Sleep apnea
- Postnasal drip: referring to excess mucus flowing down into the throat
- A sensation of pressure in the forehead or face
If the polyps are accompanied by a sinus infection, one may suffer from headaches.
When there is an infection or irritation by some other pathogen, the mucosal lining becomes inflamed. This results in a red swollen appearance, and in the production of fluid that drips out. If the inflammation persists for long, the mucosa may develop a polyp.
Though the polyps may develop without prior nasal issues, having had previous problems put you at greater risk of having them. Nasal polyps may also develop after a something specific triggers them. These triggers may include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Recurring sinus infections
- Hay fever
- Churg-Strauss Syndrome, which causes inflammation of the blood vessels
- Allergic reaction to airborne fungi
- Reduced levels of vitamin D in the body
- Affected aspirin sensitivity
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen
Studies have also shown that people with certain chemical markers and immune system responses are at greater risk of developing nasal polyps than those who don’t have them.
Nasal polyps are also more prevalent in young and middle-aged adults.
If you wish to reduce the chances of developing nasal polyps, there are certain things you can do to achieve that. These things include:
- Try and avoid irritation of the nasal passages. This may entail limiting exposure to allergens, smoke, dust and chemical fumes in the workplace. Limiting exposure to cigarette smoke will also help greatly.
- Reduce the chances of a sinus infection by ensuring good hygiene.
- Manage your allergies and their severity.
- Help the flow of mucus through the sinuses. This can be achieved in various ways. One of them is to humidify your home, keeping your nasal passages moistened. Another is to use nasal rinses or saltwater to rinse your nasal passages. This also helps in removing irritants, in addition to improving mucus flow.
If you have nasal polyps that are causing you discomfort, we recommend you consult a physician on the treatment options available. These Best ENT specialist in Islamabad are wonderful options if you reside in the city.