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Health Blog by Dr.Uday Nair


Nasal polyps are sac-like growths of inflamed tissue lining the nose (nasal mucosa) or sinuses.In common words, it is a condition when tiny flesh-like bubbles get formed inside the nose. Normally they are of the size of small water droplets, however in rare cases they can also grow to size of that of smaller grapes. They are non-cancerous growths of the mucus membrane and are not to be confused with tumors. Children with cystic fibrosis and people who are sensitive to the usage of aspirin are more prone to having nasal polyps. Nasal polyps can disrupt a patient’s quality of life with a reduced or complete loss of smell and a blocked nose leading to breathing through mouth rather than nose.

What are the causes of Nasal Polyps

Although the exact cause for nasal polyps remains unknown, it has been widely researched that allergic reactions are the main reason behind it. However non-allergic people have also been found with nasal polyps. Aspirin sensitivity, asthmatic illness, chronic sinus infections, cystic fibrosis, and hay fever have been observed to increase the severity of having nasal polyps. There are several other respiratory diseases like chronic rhino sinusitis, young’s syndrome, kartagener’s syndrome and nasal mastocytosis that are also believed to result in the formation of polyps.

What are the Symptoms of Nasal Polyps?

  • Blocked nose
  • Anosmia
  • Loss of taste
  • Sinus infections
  • Postnasal drip
  • Headaches
  • Snoring
  • Changed voice

How are Nasal Polyps Diagnosed?

In some situations, a physician can make a nasal polyp diagnosis by examining the nasal passages. This may include nasal endoscopy, which entails placing a small camera into the nose to get a better look at the nasal passages. More commonly, however, a CT ("cat scan") of the sinuses is needed to make a diagnosis.
Since other diseases are often present when a person has nasal polyps, further diagnostic tests may need to be performed.

What are the Treatment Options?

Natural  Treatments
  • Consuming black tea mixed with fine ginger powder is known to provide relief from nasal congestion and polyps. Hot milk mixed with turmeric powder also works wonders for the nasal polyps.
  • Inhaling steam 2-3 times in a day for a few days also helps in reducing the extent of the polyps.
  • Taking finely chopped ginger with one teaspoon of honey twice a day is also known to help the cause.
  • Make a saltwater solution. Pour it on a spray bottle and spray the solution inside the nostrils. This would help get rid of the irritants that cause polyps.
  • Herbal juices made out of dandelion leaves and watercress herb provide relief from nasal polyps. (3 tbsp 3 times a day for a few days)
  • Including food items rich in vitamin A and vitamin C in regular diet, helps in reducing the severity of the problem.

Medical Treatment

    Nasal polyps may be treated by both surgical and medical therapies. In severe cases, sinus surgery is often required to remove the nasal polyps and any accompanying sinus infection. However, since nasal polyps tend to grow back in at least one-third of patients, the overuse of surgery should be avoided.
    The best therapy for nasal polyps usually involves the use of surgical therapies followed by medical therapies, as this approach helps reduce the chance that the polyps will grow back.

    • Nasal Steroid Sprays and Drops
    Topical nasal steroid sprays, such as Flonase (fluticasone propionate) and Nasonex (mometasone furoate), can help reduce the size of nasal polyps and prevent polyps from growing back after surgery. Some physicians, myself included, use nasal steroid drops, rather than sprays, in order to better penetrate the nasal passages and reach the nasal polyps.
    • Corticosteroids
    Oral corticosteroids, such as prednisone, can quickly shrink the size of nasal polyps and are helpful in people with severe symptoms. After a short course of corticosteroids (about 1 to 2 weeks), however, topical nasal steroid sprays are able to control symptoms better and prevent the polyps from growing larger.
    In some cases, such as when fungal sinusitis is the cause of nasal polyps, low-dose oral corticosteroids may be required for weeks to months after surgery in order to prevent polyps from growing back.

    Expectations (prognosis)

    Removing the polyps with surgery usually makes it easier to breathe through the nose. Over time, however, nasal polyps often return. Reduced or lost sense of smell does not always improve following treatment with medicines or surgery.


    • Bleeding
    • Infection
    Nasal polyps may come back.


    Although there is no real way to prevent nasal polyps, therapy aimed at the cause can help. Nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy shots may help prevent polyps that block the airway.
    Also, aggressive medical treatment of sinus infections is helpful.

    Please Note

    Call for an appointment with your doctor if you regularly have difficulty breathing through your nose.

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