How Are Nasal Obstructions Treated
Not all patients can be cured of nasal polyps, but several treatments can help:
- Steroid sprays to shrink polyps and improve symptoms.
- Oral steroids .
- Injections under the skin to deliver a medicine called dupilumab.
- Outpatient surgery to place a tiny stent. It props open the nasal passages and delivers steroids or other medications.
- Outpatient surgery using endoscopy to remove polyps when other treatments dont work.
Your healthcare provider also may prescribe antibiotics if you have an infection.
Theres No Cancer Connection
Dr. Roxbury says many of his patients know about the connection between colon polyps and cancer and ask whether the same is true of nasal polyps. The short answer is no.
Nasal polyps are benign and have no ability to change into cancer. That said, its a good idea to get growths in the nose and sinuses checked out because other less common and more dangerous conditions may mimic polyps.
Learning you have nasal polyps is the first step to finding relief.
Runny Nose And Postnasal Drip
When you have a sinus infection, you may need to blow your nose often because of nasal discharge, which can be cloudy, green, or yellow. This discharge comes from your infected sinuses and drains into your nasal passages.
The discharge may also bypass your nose and drain down the back of your throat. You may feel a tickle, an itch, or even a sore throat.
This is called postnasal drip, and it may cause you to cough at night when youre lying down to sleep, and in the morning after getting up. It may also cause your voice to sound hoarse.
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Prevention Of Sinus Infection
A sinus infection is not exactly contagious. But depending on what caused a person’s inflammation, other people may also develop the illness. For example, the common cold and flu are both contagious conditions that can lead to a sinus infection.
Taking steps to reduce your risk of contracting viral infections can help prevent sinus infections. These include:
- Practice good hygiene, such as by washing your hands often and covering your mouth when you cough and sneeze
- Get the recommended vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and pneumococcal vaccine
- Keep your distance from people who have upper respiratory infections
- Take steps to reduce your stress, which affects your immune system
- Keep your immune system healthy, such as by eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Other ways to reduce your risk of getting a sinus infection include:
- Dont smoke cigarettes and try to avoid inhaling secondhand smoke
- Minimize your exposure to allergens and pollutants, such as by keeping your home windows closed and using a HEPA air conditioner filter, driving with your external vents closed and air conditioner on, and avoiding activities that expose you to pollen like lawn mowing and leaf blowing
- Moisten the air at home with a humidifier and avoid dry environments
- Inhale steam or use a saline nasal spray regularly
- Drink lots of water
- Irrigate your nasal passages regularly
Treatment Of Nasal Polyps
Corticosteroids in the form of nasal sprays or oral tablets may shrink or eliminate polyps. Surgical removal of polyps is needed if they block the airways or cause frequent sinus infections.
Polyps tend to grow back unless the underlying irritation, allergy, or infection is controlled. Using an aerosol corticosteroid spray may slow recurrences. Doctors may need to periodically use nasal endoscopy to evaluate and treat people with persistent or recurring problems. People who have severe symptoms caused by recurring polyps may need to have portions of their sinuses removed or corrected. Most surgical procedures are done with an endoscope .
If polyps cause repeated episodes of sinusitis, these episodes can be decreased by dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody . Dupilumab can help by shrinking the polyps.
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Sinus Tumors & Csf Leaks
Tumors within the nasal or sinus cavities can be benign or malignant . Their treatment varies greatly based on type of tumor, location and size.
A tear in the brain lining and the bone separating the sinuses from the brain can result in a drainage of fluid called cerebrospinal fluid or CSF. A CSF leak can occur from many different sources.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Nasal Polyps
Small polyps may not cause any symptoms. But as they grow, they may lead to:
When polyps get big enough, they can block the nasal passages and sinuses, leading to:
- Frequent asthma attacks in people with asthma.
- Repeated sinus infections.
- Sleep apnea or other trouble sleeping.
- Trouble breathing, even in people who dont have asthma.
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Do You Have A Runny Or Stuffed Up Nose There Might Be More To Your Symptoms Than Just A Head Cold
Nasal polyps are sac-like growths that form in the lining of your nasal passage and sinuses, often near the eyes, nose and cheekbones. Theyre usually benign and may range in size small polyps generally dont cause any symptoms, but larger growths may block sinuses and nasal airways.
Although experts havent identified a cause for nasal polyps, certain conditions, including asthma, hay fever, cystic fibrosis and chronic sinus infections may increase a persons risk of developing polyps.
If the polyps are small and do not obstruct the nasal cavity, you may not have many symptoms. However, if they grow larger or are in certain areas of the nose, they can lead to nasal congestion, loss of sense of smell, postnasal drip and facial pressure, says Elisabeth D. Ference, MD, an otolaryngologist at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology head and neck surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
In extreme cases, polyps can grow so large they can be seen when just looking in the nose. If polyps go untreated for a long period of time, the constant pressure can lead to widening of the nose and the space between the eyes.
Symptoms of nasal polyps can include: a runny or stuffed up nose, sneezing, a loss of taste or smell, snoring, headaches and, in some cases, pain. People with nasal polyps also report feeling like they have a constant head cold.
Research And Statistics: Who Gets Sinus Infections
Each year, acute sinusitis affects about 31 million Americans, who spend a whopping $1 billion on over-the-counter medications and $150 million on prescription medications to treat the illness, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology.
Epidemiologic studies suggest 5 to 12 percent of people have chronic sinus infections. However, research published in December 2018 in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology suggests this may be an overestimation due to misdiagnosis. According to the study, which relied on imaging tests for diagnosis , about 3.0 to 6.4 percent of people may have chronic sinus infections. 32786-6/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”> 5)
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What Are The Possible Causes Of Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps can form when the mucous membranes that line the nasal passageways and sinus cavities become inflamed repeatedly or over a long period. Infections and allergic reactions are to blame, as these incidents cause inflammation, redness, and fluid build-up in the passageways.
Inflammation can then lead to the formation of small, fluid-filled growths, which develop into nasal polyps. Some people develop nasal polyps at random, but most of the time, there is a triggering mechanism.
The common triggers for nasal polyps include the following:
- Corticosteroid sprays
- Medicines to help decrease inflammation
- Saline rinses and steroid nasal sprays must be used daily and do not always provide relief because the medicine is difficult to reach the polyps
- Aspirin desensitization therapy, if appropriate
Drops and tablets are typically steroid-based, which means they’re a great short-term fix, but the long-term side effects may not be worth it.
- A doctor may also prescribe a one-week tapered course of oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, in some cases.
Some common non-surgical options professionals may use to treat and remove nasal polyps include:
When considering how to remove nasal polyps, there are times when nonsurgical treatment is ineffective and surgery becomes a viable option.
Nasal polyps treatment and surgery
There are two surgical options for nasal polyp removal:
How To Prevent Nasal Polyps
While the exact cause of nasal polyps is unknown, they often develop in adulthood in people in their 30s and 40s.
A few ways to prevent or reduce the frequency of nasal polyps include:
- Avoiding allergy triggers: Avoiding allergens and airborne triggers that can lead to inflammation may help prevent nasal polyps.
- Allergy and asthma medications: If you have medications for asthma and allergies, taking them regularly may help reduce inflammation in the sinus and nasal passages.
- Saline nasal spray: Using a saline nasal wash with distilled water regularly can help keep sinus and nasal passages clean and reduce the chances of inflammation and infection.
- Humidifiers: These can help moisten the nasal passages and make it easier to breathe.
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What Is Chronic Rhinosinusitis With Polyps
CRwNP is a combination of two conditions:
- Chronic rhinosinusitis. This is chronic nasal and sinus irritation and inflammation that persists for at least 12 weeks.
- Nasal polyps. These are noncancerous soft tissue growths in your nose.
Both conditions may lead to long-term symptoms, such as:
- diminished or loss of smell
- facial pain or pressure
The conditions often occur together and can make each other worse.
Over time, chronic rhinosinusitis increases your risk of developing nasal polyps. These growths can also worsen rhinosinusitis symptoms by blocking normal mucus flow.
Research suggests that about
Nasal polyps refer to growths that line the nasal passageways. They sometimes grow into your sinuses.
Sinusitis is another term used for rhinosinusitis, or inflammation of the nasal passageways.
Acute sinusitis often occurs when a common cold develops into a bacterial infection. Symptoms last for less than 4 weeks.
Your doctor may diagnose you with chronic rhinosinusitis if your symptoms last for at least 12 weeks even with treatment.
Nasal polyps and chronic sinusitis frequently occur together. Its also possible to have each condition separately.
It can sometimes be hard to distinguish between the conditions. Both sinusitis and nasal polyps can cause the following symptoms:
- sinus pressure
- tenderness around your forehead, nose, and cheeks
- fatigue, usually caused by insomnia linked to nasal congestion
- yellow or green nasal discharge
- pain in your teeth
- bad breath
A Pharmacist Can Help With Nasal Polyps
After seeing a GP, a pharmacist can recommend:
- steroid nasal sprays that do not need a GP prescription
- salt water washes to help unblock your nose
Check the mixture is not too hot before sniffing. Do not swallow the salty mixture. It may make you feel sick.
These salt water washes are not suitable for children.
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Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Nasal Polyps
Prolonged inflammation of the lining of the nose and sinuses, also called chronic rhinosinusitis, is associated with nasal polyps, but its not completely clear what causes it, says Kim. The membranes become inflamed, which can include swelling, redness, and fluid buildup. This can continue for a long time or happen over and over again, she says.
Genetics There is some evidence that genetics may influence the likelihood that a person will develop nasal polyps, says Kim.
Clinical and Translational Allergy
Asthma and allergies In the United States, the greatest risk factor is having a condition such as asthma, allergies, or eczema those people will tend to be at greater risk for developing nasal polyps, says Kim.
Exposure to irritants
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Chronic Rhinosinusitis And Nasal Polyps Frequently Occur Together
Rhinosinusitis , more commonly known as a sinus infection, affects 30 million people in the United States each year. When a sinus infection lasts for 12 weeks or longer, it’s known as chronic rhinosinusitis.
Nasal polyps, which are small, noncancerous growths in the nose or sinuses, often occur with chronic rhinosinusitis. These conditions occur together because of chronic inflammation in the nasal and sinus membranes.
This article will explore the symptoms, risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment of both chronic rhinosinusitis and nasal polyps, as well as ways to prevent or reduce the frequency of nasal polyps.
Verywell / Jessica Olah
Why Nasal Polyps Occur
Nasal polyps develop from the tissue in your nose that produces mucus. Theres a connection between immune system behavior and polyp development, but why these growths appear in some people and not others isnt fully understood.
Polyps can affect people of any age, but theyre more common in young to middle-aged adults. Likewise, any mucus-producing tissue in your nasal passages and sinuses can be affected, but polyps tend to develop in drainage areas.
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Plagued By Chronic Sinusitis You May Have Nasal Polyps
For many people with nasal polyps, life goes on without effect. These noncancerous growths can result from any number of sources and may not cause complications. However, for some people, these soft bulbs of tissue can affect your breathing, sense of smell, and even leave you prone to frequent infections.
Do you seem to catch colds every time they come along, or do the respiratory effects last much longer than the ones in those around you? You may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. For some people, the presence of large nasal polyps, or clusters of small polyps, can lead to frequent sinus infections and persistent symptoms, such as a runny nose, postnasal drip, and trouble breathing through the nose.
Without treatment, nasal polyps can lead to sleep apnea, recurring sinus infections, and more severe asthma attacks. Once diagnosed, however, there are several options that can reduce or eliminate your polyps. Dr. Franklyn Gergits and the team at the Sinus & Allergy Wellness Center can help you decide on the best course of action.
Research Questions And Future Directions
Over the past decade, there have been very important advances made in both the clinical and pathophysiological understanding of CRSwNP. However, many important questions still remain unanswered including:
What is the true prevalence of CRSwNP within the general population or even among patients with CRS with or without asthma?
What are the factors that trigger the development of CRSwNP?
What role does bacteria play in CRSwNP?
What are the precise cellular and molecular events that lead to epithelial barrier dysfunction and immune dysregulation in CRSwNP?
What are unique biomarkers in CRSwNP that could serve as targets for potential clinical and therapeutic interventions?
What are the underlying mechanisms by which omalizumab, mepolizumab, and dupilumab exert their clinical effects?
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Types Of Chronic Sinusitis Or Chronic Sinus Infections
While acute sinusitis often involves an infection, chronic sinusitis does not. Sometimes, the long-term illness is caused by an infection that hasn’t cleared up properly, but most often the exact cause of chronic sinusitis isn’t known.
But clinicians may categorize chronic sinusitis into one of three types depending on the features present.
The most common type of the illness, chronic sinusitis without nasal polyposis, involves swelling and inflammation of the mucous membranes by various non-polyp factors, such as allergies or irritation and infections.
Chronic sinusitis with nasal polyposis, on the other hand, involves nasal polyps that are large enough to clog the sinus. It’s not always clear why some people develop these polyps and others dont.
In chronic sinusitis with fungal allergy, people experience a strong allergic reaction to fungi in the air, which causes their mucous membranes to produce a thick, dense mucus.
Loss Of Taste And Smell
If you lose your taste and smell due to nasal polyps, there is a chance that it will never come back.
The other potential complications from nasal polyps would be a result of having them surgically removed. In that situation, complications can include:
- The possibility of the nasal polyps coming back in the future
However, in some situations, nasal polyps can lead to other health problems. The most common of these is sinusitis , which may require antibiotics if it is caused by a bacterial infection.
Other potential, though more serious and less common, complications of nasal polyps may include:
- Meningitis: Infection of the tissue around the brain and spinal cord
- Orbital cellulitis: Infection around the tissue around the eye
- Osteitis: Infection of the sinus bones
- Obstructive sleep apnea: When large nasal polyps can block nasal passageway during sleep
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