Nasal polyps are sac-like outgrowths that form out of the mucous membranes of paranasal sinuses and nose, usually characterized by dripping nose and difficulty in breathing. Nasal polyps do vary in sizes and colors and are mostly benign, that is, they are non-cancerous. Serious inflammation of the mucous has been fingered as being the cause of nasal polyps which could appear in groups or alone. Large polyps really constitute serious threats to your health. These large polyps make breathing difficult and, if care is not taken, deform the face and nose of sufferer, though this rarely occurs. Anthrochoanal polyps and ethmoidal polyps are the two types of nasal polyps. Anthrochoanal polyps may form from maxillary sinuses, and are unilateral and single. Ethmoidal polyps, on the other hand, may form from the ethmoid sinuses, and are bilateral and multiple.
The chronic inflammation of the mucous membrane causes the blood vessels lining the nose to become more permeable thereby leading to increase in the cells’ water content; this condition makes the growth of nasal polyps possible. Some health conditions like asthma, hay fever, cystic fibrosis, Churg-Strauss Syndrome and primary ciliary dyskinesia increase the likelihood of developing nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps are more common among those above 40 years of age, though any age group may have it. A sizeable portion of nasal polyps cases is related to some environmental allergies. Aspirin should be avoided by people having nasal polyps because it can cause serious health problems.
Feeling of blocked nose and lesser ability to perceive odors are some symptoms of nasal polyps. Nasal polyps can cause the deformation of the face by breaking nasal and facial bones as the result of pressure exerted on them. Difficulty in breathing associated with nasal polyps can make sleep uncomfortable and could lead to sleep apnea. Nasal polyps could also reveal themselves in form of snoring, runny nose, constant stuffiness and headaches.
CT scan, allergy skin testing and noninvasive sweat test are some of the ways by which nasal polyps are diagnosed. These tests are checked side by side with the sufferer’s medical history.
In some serious cases, surgery is considered the best treatment of nasal polyps. Endoscopic sinus surgery and polypectomy are some of the surgical operations for nasal polyps. Medications like antihistamine, antibiotics or steroids also work in different ways as treatments for nasal polyps.