What an ENT Can Do For Nasal Polyps
Nasal obstruction is a very general term referring to any blockage in the nose that causes problems with breathing. The difficulty breathing can be from one side or both sides of the nose. The most common cause of nasal obstruction is nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are not cancerous. They are grape-like growths of inflamed nasal tissue in the nasal passages or sinus cavities.
Small nasal polyps usually don’t cause problems and most likely go unnoticed. However large nasal polyps can cause quite a few problems. An otolaryngologist, or ENT, can treat nasal polyps to restore easier breathing and improve your quality of life.
Symptoms of nasal polyps
Nasal polyps don’t usually occur in children. They are more common in adults. You may feel like you have a cold that just won’t go away. Symptoms of nasal polyps include:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Decreased sense of smell
- Decreased sense of taste
- Frequent sinus infections
- Mouth breathing
- Nasal discharge
Nasal polyps usually start growing near the sinuses located between the eyes and then grow into the nasal passages. Large polyps can actually block the sinuses or airways.
How the ENT treats nasal polyps
Your ENT will treat large nasal polyps to eliminate them or reduce their size. These treatments may include:
- Nasal steroid sprays to reduce inflammation and decrease nasal discharge. Unfortunately, symptoms may return if treatment with the spray is stopped.
- Oral antibiotics will be used if a bacterial sinus infection is present.
- Antifungal agents can be used to reduce the size of polyps if the cause is allergic fungal sinusitis
- Oral corticosteroids will also reduce the size of polyps as well. Corticosteroids are not generally recommended for long-term use.
- Immunotherapy can be helpful if allergies are the cause of the polyps.
If drug treatments don’t provide relief, then surgery might be necessary. ENT surgery for nasal polyps can usually be done on an outpatient basis. The most common surgical procedure is for the ENT to perform is endoscopic sinus surgery. This is a minimally invasive procedure that removes polyps from the sinuses and nasal passages. The procedure is done exclusively through the nose so scarring is minimal and recovery is quick.
See an ENT for expert diagnosis
If you have difficulty breathing, a cold that doesn’t seem to go away, or chronic sinus infections, it is time to see the ENT.