Nasal polyps are soft, often painless, benign (noncancerous) growths on the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. They are the result of chronic inflammation and are associated with asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity, or certain immune disorders. Nasal polyps can result in chronic congestion, leaving individuals with a runny or stuffy nose, reduced sense of smell, and a feeling of pressure in the forehead or face.
Nasal polyps can grow large enough to block the nasal passages, resulting in chronic congestion. Symptoms can include:
- A sensation that the nose is blocked or clogged
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Nasal stuffiness
- Reduced sense of smell
- Facial pain or headache
During an infection or allergy-induced irritation, the nasal mucosa becomes swollen. With prolonged irritation, the mucosa may form a polyp that can block the nasal passages. The full cause of nasal polyps is unknown, but it is believed to be brought on by many different factors, such as:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic sinus infections
- Sensitivity to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin
- Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
In most cases, treatment aims to relieve symptoms, such as nasal congestion and pressure. Avoidance of sterile triggers and nasal washes can help symptoms. Medications that reduce inflammation may help reduce the size of the polyp and relieve symptoms of congestion. If a person has allergies or a sinus infection that is causing inflammation in the nose, antihistamines or antibiotics can help relieve symptoms. At NEAAI, we also offer aspirin desensitization and Dupixent to treat nasal polyps, in appropriate situations.
Our team of specialized clinicians can discuss which treatment plan would be a beneficial treatment for your nasal polyps after a thorough evaluation. Contact Northeast Allergy, Asthma & Immunology today to schedule your appointment.