Nasal polyps are benign growths with a soft. And gelatinous appearance that grows inside the nasal mucosa or paranasal sinuses. Here are the causes and remedies.
Nasal polyps are benign growths with a soft and gelatinous appearance that grow inside the nasal mucosa or paranasal sinuses. They generally do not cause pain, but when they increase in volume they can also be treated surgically.
It is a disorder that affects about 2-4% of the global population, with a male prevalence.
Nasal polyps: what are the causes?
The causes of nasal polyps are not yet fully known. However, it is a chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa, which leads to an increase in volume and externalization in the nasal cavity. The causes can be:
- of an infectious nature (fungi or bacteria)
- allergic in nature
- or they can be the consequence of diseases such as asthma or cystic fibrosis.
The administration of some drugs and smog can also be related to the onset of nasal polyposis.
These are initially asymptomatic and do not cause pain. The presence of symptoms is in fact related to an increase in the size of the polyps themselves, often this can cause a nasal obstruction that hinders normal breathing. Nasal congestion (stuffy nose) and difficulty in breathing are in fact the main symptoms. There are also other related symptoms that can occur following the inflammatory process:
- altered sense of smell (anosmia)
- taste disturbance (ageusia)
- facial pain
- facial pain and perception of pressure on the forehead and face
- itchy and watery eyes
- In severe cases, asthma attacks. And obstructive sleep apnea can also appear.
Diagnosis of Nasal polyps
The first step in diagnosing it is an ENT specialist visit. In fact, the doctor collects anamnestic data in order to investigate the genetic predisposition to the disorder and identify possible associated diseases. The following can also be useful for diagnosis:
skin allergy tests (prick-test)
nasal and olfactory respiratory function test
radiological (CT or MRI) and endoscopic examinations
In the rare event that nasal polyps are present in children, testing for cystic fibrosis should be considered.
If nasal polyps are small, surgery is generally unnecessary, but drug therapy is sufficient to reduce symptoms based on the underlying cause. If nasal polyps are the result of inflammation caused by allergic reactions, antihistamines or decongestants, such as nasal sprays, may be helpful. An antibiotic or antifungal treatment is instead indicated in the case of bacterial or fungal infections.
In the most severe cases, it is advisable to resort to surgical removal. To access it is necessary to book an ENT pre-surgery visit.