Though nasal polyps are non-cancerous, they can lead to a handful of frustrating symptoms, including congestion, difficulty breathing, and recurring sinus infections. If you’re ready to find long-term relief from your nasal polyps, our team at Advanced ENT will put together a treatment plan just for you.
What Are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are painless, non-cancerous tissue growths in the nasal cavity.
Usually, nasal polyps are soft and small, but they can still cause stuffiness, postnasal drip, breathing issues, and sinus infections. In rare cases, nasal polyps that are left untreated can grow out of control, damaging nearby structures like your eye or your brain.
Most nasal polyps result from allergies, sinusitis, and chronic inflammation. Let’s take a look at the most common symptoms.
Nasal Polyps Symptoms
Often, nasal polyps go hand in hand with chronic sinusitis (swelling of the nasal passages that lasts more than 12 weeks). If your polyps are tiny, you might not have any symptoms. However, if they get bigger or form a cluster, you might experience a number of irritating symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Congestion (nasal obstruction)
- Postnasal drip
- Sinus infections
- Facial pain
- Loss of sense of smell
- Frequent nosebleeds
How Can I Get Rid of Nasal Polyps?
To treat nasal polyps, there are two main paths you can take: medication and surgery. A specialist — for example, an otolaryngologist — can help you choose the best treatment approach. First, they’ll need to run a few tests to identify the cause of your symptoms.
Here at AENT, we diagnose nasal polyps by performing a nasal endoscopy, a simple procedure that involves sliding a tiny camera into your nasal passages to check for polyps. To test the size of your polyps, we use a CT scan or MRI. For good measure, we’ll administer an allergy test to help isolate the exact cause of your polyps.
Once we’ve got a good grasp on the size and cause of your polyps, we’ll move forward with treatment.
Anti-inflammatory medications, such as oral or nasal steroids, can reduce the size of your nasal polyps and help alleviate your symptoms. In some cases, steroids can even eliminate your polyps completely!
Most of these medicines fall into one of four categories:
- Nasal corticosteroids (Flonase, Rhinocort, Nasonex, etc.)
- Oral/injectable corticosteroids: (Prednisone)
- Medication for chronic sinusitis: (Dupixent)
- Other medications (Antihistamines, Aspirin)
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
We often explain to our patients that nasal polyps are like weeds. Medications are like weed killers, effective for controlling small patches of polyps. However, when the weeds grow bigger, it’s best to pull them out completely. A nasal polypectomy is like pulling the weeds out by their roots.
Because nasal polyps can grow continuously, nasal polyp removal surgery is the most effective long-term option.
How Is Nasal Polyps Removal Surgery Performed?
Though a nasal polypectomy might sound scary, it’s actually a simple procedure. A skilled surgeon will start by inserting a small camera into your nostrils, illuminating the polyps in your sinus cavities. Then, they’ll use specialized instruments to remove nasal polyps and clear your sinus passages. Your surgeon might even enlarge your nasal and sinus cavities, allowing you to breathe even easier in the long run!
Thankfully, because nasal polyps have few nerve endings, polyp removal rarely causes pain.
How Successful Is Nasal Polypectomy?
Nasal polypectomy is extremely successful for treating the symptoms caused by nasal polyps. A 2018 review of multiple clinical trials revealed that each patient’s quality of life improved significantly following nasal polyp surgery.
Though nasal polyps often return within a few years, scheduling another removal surgery is quick and convenient — especially if you work with Advanced ENT. Our team has performed thousands of successful nasal polyp removal surgeries, and we’re here to put that expertise to work for you.
How Do I Know if I Need Nasal Polyps Surgery?
Generally speaking, you should consider nasal polyps removal surgery if:
- Your symptoms are interfering with your day-to-day life (sleeping, working, exercising, etc.), and
- Medications have been ineffective.
Since it can be hard to determine the cause of your symptoms without professional help, we recommend seeing a specialist. They’ll walk you through your options and help you decide whether surgery is right for you.
What Is the Nasal Polyps Surgery Recovery Process?
Because a nasal polypectomy is a quick, outpatient procedure, it comes with a speedy recovery. Most patients return to work and normal activities within two to five days. Better yet, you’ll be able to return home the same day!
After the procedure, many patients experience tenderness and swelling inside of their nose. To keep your nasal passages clean and healthy, you’ll need to clean your nose with a saline rinse. Fortunately, no other medication is required.
When to Call the Doctor
Because nasal polyps share symptoms with chronic sinusitis, the common cold, and other maladies, it can be tricky to figure out what’s really causing your symptoms. If you’d like to learn what’s truly going on, it’s a good idea to book an appointment with a specialist. You should also see a doctor if your symptoms have lasted for longer than 10 days.
In any case, you should seek immediate medical care if:
- You’re having serious difficulty breathing
- Your symptoms worsen suddenly
- You have double vision or trouble moving your eyes
- The area around your eyes swells intensely
- You experience a severe headache with a high fever
Nasal Polyps Experts in Denver, CO
Congestion, runny nose, trouble breathing — we know how challenging it can be to manage the symptoms of nasal polyps alone. Thankfully, our team has the skills and expertise to solve your symptoms at the source by shrinking or eliminating your polyps with a custom treatment plan.
Ready to return to a healthy, symptom-free life and enjoy Colorado living to the fullest? All you have to do is call us at (303) 792-3242, or book an online or in-person appointment today.
– What Our Patients Say –
“Very professional & friendly staff. Never had to wait longer than a few minutes for every appointment. Oh and also my nose & sinuses have never felt better. Can’t recommend them enough! – Andrew G.