Approximately four percent of people experience nasal polyps at some point in life.
Nasal polyps are a type of benign growth that occurs in the sinuses or nasal passages. Those who have bothersome polyps should reach out to the best head and neck hospital in Orange County for an evaluation.
It has yet to be discovered why polyps develop in the nasal area. Experts are also still researching why polyps occur as the result of inflammation in some patients, but not in other patients. Some research suggests that a different immune system response might be partially responsible for this. The mucous membranes in those who develop polyps in the nasal area may also have different chemical markers compared to patients who do not experience polyps.
These growths are most often seen in adults in their young and middle age years, but they can happen at any age. They can develop in any part of the nasal passages or sinuses, but are usually observed near the nose, eyes, and cheekbones. The following are risk factors that may increase the chances of developing nasal polyps:
- Family history and certain genetic variations
- Aspirin sensitivity
- Cystic fibrosis
- Allergic fungal sinusitis
- Churg-Strauss syndrome
These growths are associated with sinus and nasal passage lining inflammation that occurs for at least 12 weeks. The polyps often go undetected when they are small because they do not have any sensation and they are soft. Unless the polyp is especially large, or it causes a blockage, patients may only think they have chronic sinusitis. Possible symptoms of these polyps with chronic sinusitis may cause the following symptoms to be managed at the best head and neck hospital in Orange County:
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Sense of taste loss
- Upper teeth pain
- Persistent stuffiness
- Absent or reduced ability to smell
- Headache or facial pain
- Sense of pressure in the face and forehead
If the polyps block fluid drainage and airflow, complications may occur:
- Asthma flare-ups
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Sinus infections
Treatment of Nasal Polyps
Once a doctor at the best head and neck hospital in Orange County makes an accurate diagnosis, patients are provided with a treatment plan. The initial approach usually involves medications, and these might include:
- Injectable or oral corticosteroids
- Nasal corticosteroids
- Certain other medications, such as antihistamines or antibiotics, if an allergy or bacterial infection is believed to also be present
If an aspirin sensitivity is a contributing factor, patients might undergo aspirin desensitization therapy. If medications are not beneficial for shrinking nasal polyps, or eliminating them completely, doctors might recommend surgery. The surgery is done endoscopically and via the nostrils to access the sinus cavities. The polyps are removed to eliminate any obstruction that they may be causing. Nasal corticosteroids are often prescribed following this surgery.
The best head and neck hospital in Orange County may help patients to get an accurate diagnosis. Once this is done, the doctor can help to create a treatment plan for the patient’s nasal polyps.