Nasal polyps, as their name implies, are small growths that form inside of the nose. In typical cases, they are very small and difficult to spot immediately. In the instances when they grow big enough, they can be seen instantly within the nostrils. They also form along the sinuses, where they branch into the nasal cavity. Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that jut out of any mucous membrane. Nasal polyps grow out of the mucous membrane covering the walls of the nasal cavity. Unlike other types of polyps that form within the body, such as in the bladder or in the colon, these nasal masses normally do not have any serious detrimental effect on a person’s health. They are soft and can even be moved.
Nasal polyps are often described as looking like seedless grapes or teardrops. Small polyps usually do not cause any known symptoms, but larger masses can block the sinuses and lead to a few nasal difficulties and problems. These growths are often associated with asthma, allergies, and conditions that affect the sinus. Polyposis occurs when one has developed several groups of polyps. Anybody can develop nasal polyps, and while they are normally not dangerous to your health, people still have the option to seek professional treatment.
Types of nasal polyps
There are different types of nasal polyps, each with its own characteristics and forms of treatment. Antrochoanal nasal polyps grow as single large masses and are predominantly found among children, where males are usually affected more than females are. They are pedunculated, meaning they lie on top of a stalk that grows out of the nasal lining, and originate from the maxillary sinuses. Antrochoanal polyps are also unilateral and edematous, tending to accumulate fluid within their tissues. Ethmoidal polyps are bilateral and grow in multiple masses. They are mostly found among adults and affect both males and females. The grape-like appearance commonly attributed to nasal polyps are found in ethmoidal polyps.
They also cause a wide variety of symptoms than antrochoanal polyps. Allergic nasal polyps are usually the most common type of polyp, and can be triggered by any types of allergies that affect the nasal cavity. Non-allergic nasal polyps are similar in appearance and characteristics to allergic polyps, but develop without the allergen stimulus. Certain polyps are often commonly associated with papillomas, which are benign tumors that grown on the epithelium.
Associated causes of nasal polyps
The exact cause of nasal polyps is yet to be discovered, though many experts agree that they are associated mostly with allergies. Allergic rhinitis of the nasal airways is believed to be the most likely culprit. Chronic infection or inflammation in the nasal and sinus cavity linings often lead to a manifestation of polyps. Ethmoidal polyps are mostly triggered by allergies, while antrochoanal polyps are usually a product of nasal infections. Other diseases and illnesses thought to be linked to the development of polyps are asthma, cystic fibrosis, nasal mastocytosis, Kartagener’s syndrome, and rhinosinusitis. Samter’s triad is another known condition that normally leads to polyposis of ethmoidal polyps.
Some theories suggest that certain people have a susceptibility in their immune systems that makes them naturally predisposed to developing nasal polyps. Others suggest that these people may have different chemical or genetic markers present in the mucosal linings of their nasal cavities. Large polyp masses are believed to be formed from small sessile polyps with no stalks that eventually become pedunculated due to gravity, resulting in the polyp’s visible appearance.
Symptoms of nasal polyps
Nasal polyps that are large enough can lead to several inconvenient and difficult symptoms. They can block the nasal airways either partially, leading to great discomfort for most people, or completely, making it difficult for them to breathe. This obstruction also leads to Rhinolalia clausa, also known as hyponasal speech, wherein the speaker is not able to speak properly due to the blocked airways and often sounds as if he or she is sick.
The nose also becomes quickly congested and stuffy, often leading to discharge that may contain blood. Postnasal drip occurs, oozing out mucus that is usually stored in the intestinal tract, stomach, and throat. People with nasal polyps can develop anosmia, the loss of or a decrease in the ability to smell, and ageusia, an impaired ability to taste. They often feel pain all over their face, as if there is a source of pressure pushing against it. Ethmoidal polyps can cause a vacuum headache, similar to those felt in airplane rides caused by a sudden altitude change. Nasal polyps also lead to colds, allergies, and bouts of sneezing.
Treatment for nasal polyps
Nasal polyps are usually treated with nasal sprays. Nasal corticosteroids, such as Nasonex, Omnaris, and Rhinocort, are available as sprays and can reduce the size of polyps and even completely do away with them. Mometasone furoate is another nasal spray that can reduce any inflammation in the cavity linings. Oral corticosteroids are used for cases wherein nasal sprays are not working. They may be taken together with a spray for added effectiveness, though this is only advised for a short period as it may run the risk of causing adverse side-effects. Injectable corticosteroids are only for severe nasal polyp cases. A mixture of warm water and salt can clear the nasal airways and discourage any polyps from growing. A number of surgeries are available to manually remove the polyps.
Doctor’s team recommends : The Nasal Polyps Treatment Miracle