Mayo Clinic Q and A: Understanding nasal polyps


If your symptoms don’t resolve with medication, you may need surgery to remove the growths. If you are experiencing frequent nosebleeds or having trouble breathing or sleeping due to nasal polyps, it’s important to seek medical care. You should also contact a healthcare provider immediately if you are showing signs of any of the above conditions.

In fact, 25% to 30% percent of people with chronic sinusitis also develop nasal polyps. Treating nasal polyps, especially with surgery, may result in nosebleeds. Continued treatment with nasal steroid sprays or oral corticosteroids may lower your resistance to sinus infections. Nasal polyps grow these details in inflamed tissue of the nasal mucosa. The mucosa is a very wet layer that helps protect the inside of your nose and sinuses and humidifies the air you breathe. During an infection or allergy-induced irritation, the nasal mucosa becomes swollen and red, and it may produce fluid that drips out.


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Or, you might need a CT scan or MRI of your sinuses to get a diagnosis. In endoscopic surgery, a surgeon puts a small tube with a lighted lens or tiny camera, also known as an endoscope, through the nostrils into the sinuses. Nasal polyps are soft, painless growths inside the nasal passages. They often occur in the area where the upper sinuses drain into your nose (where your eyes, nose, and cheekbones meet). You may not even know that you have polyps because they lack nerve sensation. Researchers believe that allergies and infections cause the inflammation.

Bhasin acknowledges that living with nasal polyps can be frustrating. She recommends a combination of preventive measures and medical management. While nasal polyps can grow so large that they hang down outside the nostrils, Damask says, most this page are so small that people have no idea they exist. That triggers inflammation and swelling and makes your body produce too much mucus. This reaction causes the growths to form, adds Cecelia Damask, DO, an otolaryngologist in Lake Mary, Fl.

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You also may be more likely to get nasal polyps if other members of your family have been diagnosed with them. They’re thought to be linked to genes involved in your immune system and your body’s inflammatory response. A surgeon can also make the openings to the sinuses larger. Or there’s a procedure called balloon ostial dilation.

With prolonged irritation, the mucosa may form a polyp. A polyp is a round growth (like a small cyst) that can block nasal passages. There’s also a new treatment option available for
nasal polyps that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in
June. The medication, see post dupilumab,
is given by injection every two weeks. It’s been shown to decrease polyp
size, and control chronic nasal and sinus inflammation. At this time, however,
it is not known how long people with polyps need to be on this medication to
control their polyps.

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