Nasal polyps, sometimes called nasal polyposis, are soft, benign (non-cancerous) growths that form on the lining of the nasal passages. The polyps are typically caused by an inflammation of the sinuses or the mucosal lining of the nose itself. Small polyps may not cause any symptoms, though large polyps could block the nasal passages, and they may produce symptoms such as facial pain, a runny nose, breathing difficulties, snoring, and a distorted sense of taste or smell. Patients could also experience sneezing and headaches, and they might have frequent nosebleeds. To diagnose nasal polyps, doctors begin with a simple examination of the nose using a lighted instrument. A nasal endoscopy and CT scans or other imaging studies may be used to confirm the presence of polyps. Nasal corticosteroids or injectable corticosteroids can be used to shrink or eliminate polyps in this area, and patients may also be given an injection. If medications are ineffective, endoscopic surgery to remove the polyps may be considered.
The conditions outlined below are recognized as causes, risk factors, and complications associated with nasal polyps.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which the airways of the lungs become narrowed and swollen. Patients with asthma may experience wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing. Allergies, exercise, and exposure to certain chemicals could cause flare-ups for some patients, and the condition could make patients more likely to develop nasal polyps. To diagnose asthma, doctors begin by performing a physical examination. This primarily involves listening to the heart and lungs with a stethoscope, and it is performed to rule out other illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and respiratory infections. Patients might need to have spirometry or peak flow tests, and some individuals could be asked to have imaging studies or a nitric oxide test.
Treatment methods for asthma typically consist of inhaled corticosteroids and other long-term control medicines. Patients are also given a rescue inhaler that contains short-acting beta antagonists or bronchodilators such as ipratropium. These medicines are designed to be used during flare-ups. Patients with asthma should keep a symptom journal, and they should always see a doctor if they experience any nosebleeds or other issues that could suggest the presence of nasal polyps. Polyps could make asthma symptoms worse.
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