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Nasal polyps

Father and daughter

Some patients with chronic sinusitis develop nasal polyps. Nasal polyps form when there is swelling in the sinuses for a long time. The nasal polyps cause the same symptoms as other forms of sinusitis. These include trouble breathing through the nose, runny nose, drainage in the throat, face pain or pressure and trouble smelling. Nasal polyps are often diagnosed by an ENT doctor during a nasal endoscopy – this is when a camera is used to look inside your sinuses. But sometimes the nasal polyps extend so far forward that they can be seen in the front of your nose.

Nasal polyps are often treated with nasal sprays or with steroids taken by mouth. This will usually make symptoms much better. However, in most cases, the relief is temporary. Patients often take many rounds of steroids before being evaluated. If symptoms keep coming back after treatment with steroids, it is often recommended patients have sinus surgery. While sinus surgery can greatly improve symptoms, it is not designed as a cure for nasal polyps. The main goals are to remove the polyps, reduce the swelling in the nose and to open the sinus cavities so you can take steroids into your nose and sinuses with your irrigations. This works better and has fewer side effects than taking steroids by mouth. Most importantly, this can make you feel much better both in the short term and hopefully over the long term.