How are nasal polyps treated?
Nasal polyps are small non cancerous growths which form inside the nostrils. Nasal polyps can occur in either one, or both nasal cavities, and are non painful to the touch. They usually occur in adults, however have also been found to occur in small children as well. Nasal polyps are usually small and unobtrusive, however, they have been known to grow in size and cause significant obstruction, thus making it difficult to breathe. Nasal polyps tend to occur more often among those who suffer from chronic allergies or sinus infections. Although there is no definitive cause of nasal polyps, research suggests that they may be more prominent in individuals who have a different immunological response to common allergens and irritants. An individual who has nasal polyps may suffer from frequent congestion, runny nose, frequent sinus infection, possible loss of smell, snoring and chronic headaches.
Unfortunately, in most cases, nasal polyps are never completely resolved, as they tend to reoccur about 70% of the time after removal. However, there are several treatments in which an individual can persue in order to gain some relief from this bothersome condition. Usually, the primary goal for treating nasal polyps is to decrease their size, since they tend to reoccur most of the time. A physician may prescribe topical corticosteroid solutions to be applied to the nasal polyps, in order to reduce their size. By reducing the size of the polyps, many of the most bothersome symptoms, such as nasal congestion, sinus infection and snoring may decrease.
One of the main ways in which an individual can alleviate the symptoms associated with nasal polyps, is through the use of a sinus rinse. By rinsing out the sinuses with warm water and salts, an individual is able to gain some immediate relief of sinus congestion due to nasal polyps; However, sinus rinses temporarily alleviate the symptoms, and are not a cure for nasal polyps.
For some individuals, nasal polyps can be especially bothersome, even dangerous, when they start to significantly obstruct one’s ability to breathe. In these cases, surgical intervention is often pursued as a way to completely extract the obstructive polyps. Surgical extraction is often discouraged for the removal of nasal polyps for two reasons. First, nasal polyps tend to reoccur, even upon extraction, and can reappear within months of removal. Second, the surgical removal of nasal polyps must be done in an extremely precise manner, so as not to risk damaging surrounding tissue. For these reasons, surgical removal of nasal polyps is usually only reserved for those cases in which the benefits outweigh the potential risks.
Most of the time, nasal polyps tend to be relatively unobtrusive, and individuals can live their lives without nasal polyps having any negative impact on their daily life. However, for some people, nasal polyps can be a chronic nuisance, and can even become dangerous, when they begin to enlarge and obstruct the nasal passages. Although they tend to reoccur after surgical extraction, there are several effective ways in which an individual can treat their nasal polyps.