What are Nasal Polyps?

polyps

There are all sorts of things that can cause sinus infections, and if your sinusitis is reoccurring, you might be surprised if you are told you have nasal polyps. Nasal polyps are growths that hang down from your nasal passages or sinuses like teardrops. Small polyps cause no pain or discomfort, but larger ones can cause blockage, breathing problems or infections.

Nasal Polyps Symptoms

Unfortunately, nasal polyps have symptoms similar to many other problems of the sinuses, including post nasal drip, stuffiness, sinus pressure or pain, decreased sense of smell or taste, snoring and pain in the upper teeth. As a general rule, if you have sinus troubles that last longer than a common cold, its best to have an ear, nose and throat specialist take a look.

Causes of Nasal Polyps

There really is no clear cause to explain why some people get nasal polyps and others don’t, but some research has suggested that people who are prone to polyps have an abnormal immune response of the mucus membranes.

Additionally, people with the following conditions are more likely to get nasal polyps:

  • Asthma
  • Aspirin allergy
  • Ibuprofen allergy
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Family history of polyps
  • Fungal infection
  • Fungi allergy

By Ramie A. Tritt, M.D., President, Atlanta ENT

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