THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE FOR THE TREATMENT OF NASAL POLYPS
WHAT ARE NASAL POLYPS?
Nasal polyps are painless, teardrop-shaped, soft, non-cancerous growths that develop on the lining of the nasal passage. The size varies and small nasal polyps do not produce any symptoms but larger polyps or groups of polyps can block the nasal passage.
WHAT ARE THE RISK FACTORS FOR NASAL POLYPS?
Nasal polyps can affect anyone but they are more commonly seen in adults. Any condition that triggers inflammation again and again in the nasal passage (Infection, allergy) may cause the development of polyps. Risk factors include:
ASTHMA: in asthma, there is inflammation and constriction of the airways.
RECURRING INFECTIONS: recurring infection viral or bacterial cause inflammation again and again in the nasal passage.
ALLERGIES: allergy to pollutants, airborne fungi, pollen allergy would also cause inflammation in the nasal passage.
DRUG SENSITIVITY: certain drugs like aspirin can cause inflammation and irritation of nasal passages.
CERTAIN DISEASES: certain diseases like cystic fibrosis, the churg-Strauss syndrome also show inflammation of nasal passage.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF NASAL POLYPS?
Nasal polyps can cause complications because they block the nasal passage and fluid drainage. Complications include:
SINUS INFECTIONS: sinus infections can occur due to nasal polyps.
ASTHMA FLARE UPS: recurrent infection and inflammation cause flare-up of symptoms of asthma.
OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA: sleep apnea can occur due to nasal polyps as they block breathing.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NASAL POLYPS?
Nasal polyps cause blockage in the nasal passage due to recurrent inflammation. Nasal polyps are soft growths and have no symptoms of their own but it is the blockage that produces symptoms:
Nasal blockage and congestion
Decreased sense of smell and in chronic cases no sense of smell
Congested feeling in head
Pain in sinuses
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF NASAL POLYP?
The exact cause of inflammation in the mucous membrane of the nasal passage is not known as nasal polyp can develop in anyone and at any age but they are most common in adults.
DIAGNOSIS OF NASAL POLYPS
Symptoms along with examination by the doctor can confirm the diagnosis as polyps may be visible with lighted instruments also. Other diagnostic tests are:
NASAL ENDOSCOPY: viewing the nasal passage by an endoscope would help in the visualization of the polyps.
CT SCAN: this can help the doctor to see the size and location of the polyp.
TREATMENT OF NASAL POLYPS
The basic goal of the treatment in nasal polyps is to reduce the size of the polyps and relieve the symptoms of blockage. Conventional treatments include corticosteroid nasal spray to relieve inflammation. Surgery is also advised for removing the polyps mechanically.
MANAGEMENT OF NASAL POLYPS
AVOID NASAL IRRITANTS: avoid breathing airborne irritants (fumes, pollution, chemical fumes, tobacco smoke, dust, etc) which would contribute to the inflammation by irritating the mucous membrane of the nose.
HUMIDIFIER: use a humidifier at your house as a humidifier would keep the nasal passage moist and would improve mucus flow.
MAINTAIN HYGIENE: wash hands regularly and maintain hygiene to avoid bacterial, viral infections that can cause inflammation of the nasal passage.
DO BREATHING EXERCISES: breathing exercises would help in relieving symptoms.
STEAM INHALATION: steam inhalation would relieve the congestion feeling in the nose and would also clear the nasal passage.
NASAL SPRAY: saline nasal spray would help in relieving nasal congestion by clearing the passage of mucus.
ASTHMA: if you have asthma then keep it under control as flare-ups would exaggerate the inflammation of the nasal passage.
HOMEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT OF NASAL POLYPS
Homeopathy is the best way to treat nasal polyps. Homeopathic medicines would help in decreasing the size of the polyps. With medicines, only the size of the polyps can be managed and the patient can be relieved with all the symptoms without any surgery or steroids. Medicines should always be taken after consulting some good homeopath.
DO’S & DON’TS
Avoid exposure to allergens.
Do steam inhalation
Manage asthma and keep it under control
Do breathing exercises
Use saline nasal spray
Maintain hygiene and wash hands regularly
Don’t expose yourself to allergens and infections
Don’t ignore the symptoms
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