Nasal Polyps: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatment

What are Nasal Polyps?

Have you felt that the cold does not go away? Your nasal congestion does not go away easily even after using several medications or anti-allergy remedies. Then, this could be due to nasal polyps.  Nasal Polyps are referred to as the benign (non-cancerous) growth of the mucosa or lining tissues in the nose. Nasal polyps appear as fleshy swellings that usually grow in the linings of the nose and paranasal sinuses –the air-filled spaces that are linked to the nasal cavity. 

The nasal polyps tend to vary in size and could be yellowish or pink in color. They are mostly shaped like small teardrops. As the nasal polyps grow, these appear as grapes growing on a stem. Polyps might grow in one or both the nostrils at the same time. They might grow on their own or even in groups. The nasal polyps might be responsible for blocking the sinuses and causing recurrent problems including infections. 

How does Nasal Polyps Occur?

The nasal polyps usually grow on the inflamed tissue belonging to the nasal mucosa. The mucosa happens to be the wet layer that helps in offering protection to the inside of the sinuses and nose. It also helps in humidifying the air that you breathe. During some allergy-induced infection or irritation, the nasal mucosa tends to become inflamed and red. It tends to produce fluid that drops out of the nose. In case of prolonged irritation, the mucosa might lead to the formation of polyps. A polyp is a small rounded growth that blocks the nasal passages.

Although some people might develop nasal polyps with no prior nasal problems, there could be some common triggers that are known for the development of nasal polyps. Here are some:

  • Asthma
  • Recurring or chronic sinus infections
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Sensitivity to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen
  • Cystic fibrosis

There could be some heredity reasons as well to the development of the nasal polyps. 

Who is Prone to Nasal Polyps?

Nasal Polyps is estimated to be affecting around 4 to 40 percent of the world’s population. Moreover, they appear to be 2 to 4 times more common occurrences in males than in females. People who are prone to developing them are usually young or middle-aged adults. Individuals having symptoms related to asthma, common allergies, and frequent sinus infections are also highly prone to developing Nasal Polyps. Some children with cystic fibrosis might also develop Nasal Polyps. 

What are the Symptoms of Nasal Polyps? How is Nasal Polyps Diagnosed?

Nasal Polyps tend to soft, rounded, painless inflamed growths inside the nasal passages. They usually occur in the area of the nasal passage where the upper sinuses are known for draining into your nasal cavity (where the nose, eyes, and cheekbones meet). You might not be even aware of the fact that you have developed Nasal Polyps as these do not have any nerve sensations. 

Some of the Nasal Polyps might grow larger in size towards blocking the nasal passages. Such nasal obstruction symptoms might lead to chronic congestion of the nasal passage. Here are some of the common Nasal Polyps symptoms associated:

  • A runny nose
  • A sensation in the nose that it is blocked
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Postnasal drip –excess mucus running down the path to the back of your throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea
  • Feeling of pressure in the jaw and head

In some nasal cyst symptoms, the individuals might also experience a headache or pain.


A Nasal Polyp might be visible if the doctor you are consulting would look up into the nasal passages with some lighting instrument including nasoscope or otoscope. If the Nasal Polyps happen to be located deeper inside the nasal passage of your nose, then the doctor might be required to perform the nasal endoscopy. This procedure involves the doctor guiding some thin, flexible tube with the help of a camera and light at the end of the nasal passage. 

Some other methods of diagnosing the Nasal Polyps concerning the nasal abscess symptoms include an MRI or CT scan, allergy tests, and others. 

What are the Complications of Nasal Polyps?

  • Infection
  • Sinus infections
  • Nasal congestion
  • Difficulty in breathing or sleeping

What is the Treatment for Nasal Polyps?

Some of the possible treatments for the Nasal Polyps might include:

  • Medication –helping with the reduction in inflammation of the nasal polyps. Some of the common medications or nasal steroids might include mometasone, fluticasone, and budesonide. 

  • Surgery –if the nasal polyps symptoms are not improving, then surgery can help in the complete removal of the Nasal Polyps. 

Home Remedies for Nasal Polyps

  • Massaging or taking steam from essential oils
  • Drinking apple cider vinegar with water
  • Adding turmeric to the diet

Did You Know

  • Nasal polyps are much common in men than in women
  • In some cases, nasal polyps could lead to sleep apnea
  • Nasal polyps can occur at any age

Related links

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