Nasal polyps are benign (non-cancerous) growths that develop within the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. If large enough, these growths may block the passages and cause breathing difficulties, sinus infections or other complications.
Nasal polyps are most common in adults, especially those with asthma or allergies. Children with cystic fibrosis are also at a higher risk of developing nasal polyps. They often develop in occurrence with respiratory diseases such as sinusitis and allergic rhinitis or immunodeficiency conditions.
Most patients with nasal polyps may experience nasal congestion, as well as runny nose, headache, facial pain, loss of smell or taste and sinus pressure. Some patients may not have any symptoms if the polyp is small.
Treatment for nasal polyps is often provided through medications that can reduce the size of the polyp or even eliminate it. Medication may be in the form of pills, nasal sprays or allergy shots. Surgery may be required to remove the polyp if medication is unsuccessful, and may include a polypectomy or endoscopic sinus surgery to either suction out the polyp or remove it carefully with tiny instruments.