Nasal polyps are soft-tissue growths that form in your nasal passages. They aren’t cancerous, but that doesn’t mean they don’t cause problematic symptoms. Polyps form on the tissue that produces mucus, and they can lead to issues with breathing, congestion, and sleep.
Researchers believe chronic inflammation in the sinuses and nasal cavity is partially to blame for the development of nasal polyps, but they’re still working to determine the exact cause. People with a family history of nasal polyps also have a higher risk of developing the condition.
At Jacksonville ENT Surgery in Lake City and Jacksonville, Florida, our board-certified ENT providers, Charles Greene, MD, PhD, and Tara Condrey, PA-C, are here to help you recognize the signs of nasal polyps so you can get the help you need.
Keep reading to learn about six of the most common signs of nasal polyps and the ways we can help you find relief.
1. You’re chronically congested
One of the most common signs of nasal polyps is chronic nasal congestion. This is because the growths obstruct your nasal passages.
This obstruction causes congestion, and between this and the obstruction from the polyps, you may find it difficult to breathe through your nose.
2. Pressure or discomfort in your nose and face
Nasal polyps frequently trigger pain or discomfort in the face or nose. Many people describe it as an achy feeling or feeling of pressure around the nose or cheeks. This symptom can result from the presence of growths in a small space or the swelling and inflammation they can cause.
3. Sinus pressure or blockage
Another common sign of nasal polyps is chronic sinus pressure. This symptom develops when the polyps grow in a place that blocks your sinus passages.
This symptom can feel like pain under or around your eyes, cheeks, and forehead. For many people, it also causes a feeling like your sinuses are blocked, making it hard to breathe through your nose or blow your nose when congested.
4. Chronic postnasal drip
Nasal polyps trigger inflammation in your nose, which prompts your nose to produce more mucus. As a result, many people with nasal polyps experience chronic postnasal drip, or mucus dripping down the back of the throat.
Since the flow of air through the nose is partially obstructed by nasal polyps and the associated inflammation and congestion, another common sign of the condition is snoring. Snoring also means you’re breathing partially through your mouth, so you may also experience dry mouth or a sore throat.
6. Loss of smell or taste
For many people with nasal polyps, one of the most noticeable signs is a decrease or loss in their sense of smell and taste.
This is because the chronic inflammation nasal polyps causes along with the obstruction can interfere with the nerves associated with detecting scent.
Because your sense of smell is essential for your sense of taste, people with nasal polyps may also notice a decrease in taste sensation.
How we treat nasal polyps
Your Jacksonville ENT Surgery provider first verifies nasal polyps are the cause of your symptoms through a physical exam, imagine, and other tests. They then design a personalized nasal polyp treatment plan based on your unique needs.
There are different effective therapies for addressing nasal polyps. Some of the most common treatments include:
- Medicines that shrink polyps
- Medicine to control inflammation
- Saline irrigation and antihistamines
- Allergy immunotherapy
For patients with severe symptoms or especially problematic nasal polyps, a surgical procedure and/or implant may offer the best relief. Balloon sinuplasty can open your sinuses, and a simple endoscopic surgery can effectively remove polyps. This treatment may be used in conjunction with an implant, like PROPEL®.
This meshlike implant keeps your nasal passage open and slowly releases a controlled steroid to keep inflammation down so you heal faster. Since it dissolves on its own over time, there’s no follow-up surgery needed.
For patients hoping to avoid surgery, the SINUVA® implant could be a good option. After your provider places the implant, it shrinks polyps and eases symptoms by releasing a medication that targets polyps.
Worried about nasal polyps? Get the help you need by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with a provider at Jacksonville ENT Surgery in Florida.