Nasal polyps are painless, noncancerous, and soft growths that occur on the sinus or nasal passage lining. These polyps form with shapes like teardrops. They hang down from the lining of the sinuses or nose like grapes. Polyps occur when there is chronic inflammation of the sinuses or nasal passages. Individuals are unlikely to develop them if they do not have chronic sinus issues. Some of the most common conditions associated with polyps are recurring infections, asthma, drug sensitivities, allergies, and some immune disorders. If the nasal polyps are small, they might be asymptomatic. However, larger groups or growths can lead to blockages of the nasal passages and subsequent symptoms.
Nasal polyp treatment is possible. Many patients try a neti pot for nasal polyps, as well as a nasal spray for nasal polyps. Everyone wants a nasal polyp cure. They will try anything, including nasal polyp home treatment, to find relief. Of course, visiting a doctor to treat nasal polyps is often necessary.
Chronic stuffiness is one of the significant symptoms and causes of nasal polyps. This is because polyps do not tend to form unless individuals have experienced chronic stuffiness. If an individual's sinuses and nasal passages have been swollen and irritated for at least twelve weeks, they have chronic sinusitis. Individuals might experience symptoms of chronic sinusitis without developing nasal polyps. However, nasal polyps are nearly always accompanied by chronic sinusitis. It may be difficult to tell whether the growth of polyps is aggravating ongoing symptoms or not. An individual's sinuses and nasal passages might become blocked if there is a large polyp or cluster of multiple growths.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis combined with polyps include persistent stuffiness, a runny nose, facial pain, headaches, pain in the upper teeth, a sense of pressure in the cheeks and forehead, frequent nosebleeds, and snoring. Patients will also often have issues with taste and smell. If the symptoms last longer than ten days, patients should see a doctor. Sudden and severe problems with breathing require emergency medical attention.
Issues With Sense Of Smell
Nasal polyps can cause issues with an affected individual's sense of smell. Conditions that interfere with the ability to smell things are called smell disorders. Several issues can cause smell disorders in addition to nasal polyps. For instance, a patient's sense of smell can become limited or changed if they experience injury, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, or dental issues. Issues with smell may also be the result of medication side effects, hormonal balance disturbances, and exposure to chemicals like solvents and insecticides.
More than 200,000 individuals go to a doctor every year to receive treatment for an issue with their sense of smell. If individuals have a smell disorder, they might also notice problems with their sense of taste, as smell and taste are two closely linked senses. An individual's sense of smell is part of the way their body senses chemicals. There are sensory cells in the throat, mouth, and nose to help interpret smells, and polyp growths can block these cells.
Postnasal drip occurs when an individual's body produces more mucus than usual and when the mucus runs down the back of the throat instead of the nose. If polyps are blocking an individual's nose, they might experience higher levels of postnasal drip. This is because the mucus does not have any other way to exit their sinus cavities. Mucus is always running down the back of the throat in some capacity. However, individuals usually do not notice it. This is because the substance mixes with saliva and is easily swallowed. The production of excess mucus is when the dripping becomes noticeable.
Postnasal drip is not always a sign of nasal polyps. However, if individuals are experiencing postnasal drip for long periods, especially without an accompanying runny nose, there may be a blockage in their nostrils. Postnasal drip is most commonly associated with respiratory and sinus conditions like the flu, colds, sinus infections, and allergic reactions. In children, it can also occur when an object has become stuck in the nose and led to a blockage.
Frequent nosebleeds can be a sign of nasal polyps, especially if chronic sinus problems accompany them. If an individual's nose has begun bleeding more often after a few weeks of nasal inflammation, it is a good indicator of polyps. Nosebleeds are not often indicators of serious medical issues, but patients should pay attention if they start getting nosebleeds more frequently than they have in the past. The nose has multiple blood vessels located near the surface of both the back and front of the nose. These blood vessels are very fragile, which means that they can break and cause bleeding easily.
It is common for adults and children between three and ten years old to experience nosebleeds. When the condition is related to nasal polyps, it tends to occur because polyps have caused one or more blood vessels to break. With anterior nosebleeds, the blood vessels at the nose's front break, causing blood to flow through the nostrils. Posterior nosebleeds occur when vessels at the back break, causing blood to flow down the back of the throat. Some posterior nosebleeds are dangerous.
A runny nose can sometimes be a sign of nasal polyps. However, it can also be an indicator of many other conditions. The nose runs when excess mucus forms in the throat and nose. In normal circumstances, the nose can produce about a quart of mucus a day. However, when an individual is fighting an infection, the mucus becomes thicker and more prominent. The purpose of mucus is to trap and kill viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders to keep them from causing or worsening an infection. Runny noses can occur when individuals are infected by nearly any illness, particularly respiratory diseases. Individuals may get them if they have a sinus infection, allergies, the flu, or a cold. If a patient's nose runs for more than three weeks, it may be serious enough to cause nasal polyps.
One of the possible symptoms of nasal polyps is frequent headaches. Some level of facial pain often accompanies these headaches. Individuals might feel like there is pressure behind their forehead and cheeks or their ears and along their jaw. The headaches tend to be related to chronic sinusitis that occurs alongside the nasal polyps. The cause is generally due to infections in the sinuses or a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. Many conditions can cause headaches, and not all of them are related to the sinuses. Sinus headaches tend to be felt toward the front of the face rather than in the back of the head. They are more likely to present as throbbing, pressure, and aching than as sharp pain. However, if the sinuses are inflamed or impacted enough, the headaches might become strong enough to feel like stabbing pain.
Snoring is another symptom most likely to occur if individuals have chronic sinusitis alongside nasal polyps. This can be a troublesome symptom to pinpoint, particularly if individuals live and sleep alone. When asleep, individuals are not aware of whether or not they are snoring. However, their partner might be. If their partner finds that they have suddenly developed a loud snore when they did not previously have one, there might be an underlying cause. This might be sinusitis and nasal polyps. Alternatively, it might be related to their respiratory system or overall sleep quality.
Snoring is a harsh or hoarse sound caused by airflow through relaxed tissues in the throat. When the air moves past these tissues, they vibrate, causing a sound to erupt. Most individuals snore at some point in their lives. However, sudden and ongoing snoring can be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Loss Of Sense Of Taste
One of the more unusual symptoms of chronic sinusitis occurring alongside nasal polyps is a loss of the sense of taste. This does not tend to be permanent, but it can be confusing and potentially alarming. The reasoning behind the taste loss is the senses of smell and taste are intrinsically linked. When the nose is having trouble taking in and interpreting scents, individuals aren't able to taste foods as fully. The medical term for a decreased sense of taste is hypogeusia. If an individual completely loses their sense of taste, the medical term is ageusia.
Loss of taste is not always related to problems with the sense of smell. Some medications can decrease a patient's sense of taste as a side effect. In addition, it is normal for individuals to lose some taste bud sensitivity as they age. Thus, elderly individuals might find that they can no longer taste food as well as they used to. When the loss of taste is related to a loss of smell, individuals are likely to notice their nose is often stuffy or difficult to breathe through.
Frequent Sinus Infections
Frequent sinus infections can be a sign of nasal polyps. If individuals have sinus infection symptoms that last for more than twelve weeks, the condition is called chronic sinusitis. When the infection lasts for shorter periods, it is called acute sinusitis. Patients might have several bouts of acute sinusitis with brief periods of relief between them.
Sinus infections can feel like a terrible cold. However, they have some key symptoms that set them apart from a traditional viral cold. When the sinuses are infected, individuals will typically develop a fever of at least 101 degrees Fahrenheit and have green or yellow mucus that discharges from the nostrils. Some patients might have an ongoing cough because of the postnasal drip down their throats. If individuals have cold symptoms that last longer than ten days, there is a good chance they have a sinus infection. Pain, congestion, pressure, and aching around the face and head are also common.
Facial pain can be an indicator an individual is dealing with chronic sinusitis caused by nasal polyps. This pain might come in a variety of different forms, and it is equally likely to vary in intensity. Some patients also experience pain in their upper teeth, which they may misconstrue as a dental or gum-related problem. In actuality, the pain comes from pressure in the sinuses located above the upper teeth.
Affected individuals might experience sinus pain, and some find the pain radiates to other parts of their face and head. The pain might present as a dull throbbing, aching, or pressure that is impossible to ignore. Some patients experience sharp stabbing sensations due to the pressure and inflammation inside the sinuses. The pain can be severe enough that it is interfering with an individual's ability to function. If this is the case, individuals must talk to a doctor to determine if there is a treatable underlying cause.