Nasal polyps are soft, painless, noncancerous growths on the lining of your nasal passages or sinuses. They hang down like teardrops or grapes. They result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorders.
There are 2 major types of nasal polyps.
- Single, Unilateral
- Can originate from maxillary sinus.
- Usually found in children.
- Usually found in adults.
Initially you might think you have a cold. This is because a blocked or runny nose is a common symptom in viral infections like colds. Colds usually only last 2-14 days and the symptoms improve on their own. If you have nasal polyps, the symptoms will not get better without treatment.
- The main symptom is a blocked feeling in the nose. You may find it difficult to breathe through your nose. You may then have to breathe through your mouth for much of the time. This is especially troublesome at night and your sleep may be affected.
- Watering from the nose (rhinorrhoea) is common.
- A postnasal drip may occur. This is the sensation of something continually running down the back of your throat. It is due to mucus coming from the back of the nose because of large polyps.
- Your sense of smell and taste may be dulled or lost.
- A blocked nose may make your voice sound different.
- Larger polyps may cause headaches and snoring.
- Sometimes polyps block the drainage channel of the sinuses into the nose. This can make you more prone to sinusitis (infection of the sinuses).
- Large polyps sometimes interfere with breathing at night and cause obstructive sleep apnoea.
- Very large untreated polyps can make your nose and front of your face enlarge. This is rare. In extremely rare cases, double vision can occur due to huge polyps changing the structure of the face and pressing on the nerves that send vision signals from the eyes to the brain.
Scientists don’t yet fully understand what causes nasal polyps. It’s not clear why some people develop chronic inflammation or why ongoing inflammation triggers polyp formation in some people and not in others. The inflammation occurs in the fluid-producing lining (mucous membrane) of your nose and sinuses. There’s some evidence that people who develop polyps have a different immune system response and different chemical markers in their mucous membranes than do those who don’t develop polyps. Nasal polyps are most commonly thought to be caused by allergy and rarely by cystic fibrosis although a significant number are associated with non-allergic adult asthma or no respiratory or allergic trigger that can be demonstrated. These polyps have no relationship with colonic or uterine polyps. Irregular unilateral polyps particularly associated with pain or bleeding will require urgent investigation as they may represent an intranasal tumour. There are various diseases associated with polyp formation:
- Chronic rhinosinusitis
- Aspirin intolerance
- Cystic fibrosis
- Kartagener’s syndrome
- Young’s syndrome
- Churg-strauss syndrome
- Nasal mastocytosis
- Exposure to some forms of chromium can cause nasal polyps and associated diseases. They are also linked to salicylate sensitivity.
Large polyps may be easily visible through your nostrils. Smaller polyps, and polyps in the sinuses are not visible via the nostrils. In such cases, the ENT specialist will pass a small flexible telescope with a camera on it (an endoscope), into your nose. This procedure is called nasendoscopy. It allows the extent and location of the polyps to be assessed. Occasionally a CT or MRI scan may be needed. These scans may show more detail about where the polyps are and what effects they might have had on other parts of the face, sinuses and skull.
For the treatment of nasal polyps homoeopathy has lot of scope. Sometime polyps are due to deep seated chronic disorder like asthma or allergies then constitutional treatment is usually taken up by the homeopathic doctor to treat the root cause for the polyps.Timely administered homeopathic medicines help avoid surgery and its inherent complications..