When Are Nasal Polyps an Issue?

Woman suffering with nasal polyps considering treatment.

In the United States, an estimated 4% of individuals have nasal polyps. That may sound small but it’s close to 14 million people.

Nasal polyps aren’t really a big issue for many. They stay small, hidden, and don’t cause very many symptoms. But for some people, nasal polyps produce a whole host of problems which range from a runny nose to extreme sleep conditions.

So when do nasal polyps become an issue? And what can be done about them when that takes place?

Nasal Polyps – What Exactly Are They?

Nasal polyps are soft, noncancerous, bumps that develop inside of your sinus and nasal passages. Sometimes these bumps are a result of inflammation, typically caused by something such as a sinus infection. But it’s not unusual for these growths to develop by themselves and become permanent.

Small nasal polyps are normally no more than a slight nuisance especially when there are only a few. But when polyps grow in mass and quantity, they can create various problems to appear. Some of the most common symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • A sense of pain in the upper teeth
  • Regular nose bleeds
  • Snoring, sometimes triggering sleep apnea
  • Persistent runny and stuffy nose
  • The reduction of your sense of smell and taste
  • A feeling of pressure in your nose, forehead, or face
  • Postnasal drip

Many individuals will find help for their nasal polyps when they become a significant disturbance to their quality of life.

How to Treat Nasal Polyps

When people think of treatment for nasal polyps, they usually first imagine surgery. But surgery, while practical, isn’t normally the first measure in treating nasal polyps. Those who have nasal polyps will most often try one of these solutions first:

Corticosteroids: Whether they are injected, breathed in through the nose, or taken in pill form, corticosteroids are among the most prevalent treatments to try to diminish the size of nasal polyps. The concept behind these solutions is to try to decrease any swelling that might be making the polyps bigger than they ought to be.

Other medications: If your doctor believes that your nasal polyps might be due to an underlying condition, such as a sinus infection, you may be given other medications. Prescription antibiotics are likely the most extensively used treatment for a sinus infection. If the antibiotics successfully treat the infection but not the polyps, you will probably require further treatment.

Nasal Polyps Surgery

Nasal polyps surgery has, over the years, taken on a fairly scary reputation. Years ago, patients were required to undergo a painful procedure called “nasal packing,” where gauze was applied to those places where surgery took place.

Nowadays, however, minimally invasive surgical practices coupled with novel bandaging materials and devices mean that painful nasal packing is a thing of the past. Nasal polyps are usually removed as an outpatient procedure and patients return home shortly after.

After your procedure, you will want a couple of weeks rest. The exact duration of your recovery period will vary depending on the precise nature of your procedure.

It’s Not Necessary to Simply Cope With Out-of-Control Nasal Polyps

Often, nasal polyps are only a minor inconvenience. At times, they begin small and only flare up when you have a sinus infection or cold. But nasal polyps can be very uncomfortable when they do become an issue. It’s important to remember that you don’t need to just deal with that discomfort.

For individuals who are ready to reduce or get rid of their nasal polyps, treatment is obtainable. Once treatment is finished, you’ll breathe easier, sleep better, and might even find yourself experiencing fewer headaches or nosebleeds.

So you won’t need to sniffle your way through life anymore making your days and nights more enjoyable.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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