What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that occur in the sinuses or nasal mucosa (lining of the nose). They are sac-like, soft, and painless. Nasal polyps generally start at the top of the inside of the nose (the ethmoid sinuses) and grow or hang into the open areas below. While they are painless, larger polyps may obstruct the nasal airway or sinuses making it difficult to breathe out of the nose. You should seek treatment for nasal polyps if they regularly interfere with your breathing.
Risk Factors for Nasal Polyps
- Aspirin sensitivity
- Cystic fibrosis
- Allergic rhinitis
Allergies are a major contributor to chronic inflammation in the nose. If you have severe allergies, you should discuss your risks of developing nasal polyps with an allergist at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers.
Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
- Breathing through your mouth
- Loss of your sense of smell (partial or complete)
- Nasal obstruction
- Shortness of breath
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Runny nose
- A feeling of facial fullness
- Feeling like you have had a cold for months or years
Unless you also have a sinus infection, sinus pain, facial pain, headaches, and migraines are not often experienced with nasal polyps.
Diagnosing Nasal Polyps
An allergist or ENT specialist can diagnose nasal polyps. Your allergist may use a nasal endoscopy to view the inside of your nose. This is a narrow tube with a lighted magnifying lens or tiny camera that enables your doctor to perform a detailed examination inside your nose and sinuses. In some cases, you may need a CT scan to diagnose nasal polyps.
At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, we use a CBCT scan to take 3-D images of your sinuses right in our office. This scan gives us instant access to the information needed to diagnose your sinus problems. It also helps us determine if you need sinus surgery to remove the polyps. Book an appointment for a same-day diagnosis and treatment options.
Treatment For Nasal Polyps
Since allergies contribute to inflammation that causes nasal polyps, we recommend allergy immunotherapy (shots or drops) or other allergy medication to reduce inflammation. Nasal steroid sprays may also help with a runny nose or nasal obstruction. In rare cases, you will need sinus surgery to remove nasal polyps. Contact our allergists today to determine your treatment options.