Chronic Sinusitis? Identifying And Treating Nasal Polyps

Posted on: 19 September 2016

Sinus infections, severe allergies, and even the common cold all have similar symptoms. Several serious sinus diseases and disorders also have the same symptoms, which makes it difficult to differentiate between a common ailment and something more serious. However, there is one thing that will alert you to a potential problem. When symptoms are chronic and treatments are unsuccessful, the likelihood that something other than routine illness is going on is greater. If you have chronic sinus problems, you may have a condition called nasal polyps. Following is everything you need to know about this manageable condition. 

Symptoms

As mentioned, the symptoms of nasal polyps mimic most other sinus ailments. Symptoms include, sinus pressure, clogged nose, runny nose, itching eyes, decreased sense of smell and taste, dental pain, and snoring. Symptoms associated with polyps tend to linger. It takes approximately one to two weeks for a cold to go away. However, the symptoms of nasal polyps can last much longer. In fact, nasal polyps are suspected in sinusitis cases that last more than 12 weeks. To diagnose polyps, however, your ENT has to see the growths. Polyps usually grow on the soft lining of your nasal passages. 

Causes

Some people are more prone to polyps to others, which suggests a genetic link. In all cases, however, polyp growth is stimulated by inflammation of the nasal passages and, most importantly, the mucus membranes. It is believed that polyps form when mucus does not move freely and drain as it should. The excessive mucus lies against the mucus membranes, causing infection, irritation, and inflammation. People who produce too much mucus due to chronic allergies or frequent colds should be aware that polyps can occur and take steps to manage excess mucus as much as possible. 

Treatment

The treatment options available for nasal polyps are fairly easy and straightforward. In addition to antibiotics and antihistamines, nasal and oral corticosteroids are often prescribed. In extreme cases where the polyps aren't responding to the medications, the steroid may be injected directly into the polyps. Surgery is possible, but it is a last-resort option. It is usually only used in extreme cases where the size and number of the polyps are alarming and in cases where no other treatments are working. 

Nasal polyps can make you feel like you have a cold or sinus infection that doesn't want to go away. If you've been battling sinus symptoms that won't go away, be sure to talk to you ENT about the possibility of polyps. 

For more information, contact Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC or a similar location.

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