Nasal polyps are one of those medical things that you might have and may have had for a while, but you may not even know it. Nasal polyp symptoms are very similar to the symptoms of other common health problems. So, unless you go to the doctor with these issues, you may just assume it’s something else.
But what if you do have one? What if you do suffer from nasal polyposis? What does that mean? In this article, you will find everything you need to know about nasal polyps, from nasal polyps causes and symptoms to nasal polyps diagnosis and treatment. Hopefully, after your done reading, you will know whether you should see a doctor about the possibility of nasal polyps, or if already knew you had them, this may give you a few ideas about your treatment options.
The Causes, Risk Factors, and Complications of Nasal Polyps
Now that you’ve heard the term nasal polyp, you’re probably a little curious as to what exactly a nasal polyp is. Essentially, it’s fleshy growth within the lining of your nose. These polyps tend to be small, but they can result in multiple growths. And, occasionally, they can become big enough to block a nasal passageway.
The causes of nasal polyps are still unknown. For example, a significant number of asthmatics will suffer from nasal polyps, but people without asthma can also get them. They may be, at least, in part due to an accumulation of fluid within interstitial space of the nose and sinuses, but even that is just an unproven theory. The one good thing is that nasal polyps very rarely have anything to do with cancer, and the polyps themselves don’t cause pain.
Risk factors for nasal polyps include being asthmatic or if you suffer from long term allergies. It also tends to affect those people who suffer from cystic fibrosis (this is a very common symptom of cystic fibrosis in children under 10). There is also a rare blood disease called Churg-Strauss syndrome that also seems to bring with it nasal polyps. Also, these polyps can trigger asthma flare-ups, sleep apnea, and make you more susceptible to sinus infections.
Now that we’ve taken a look at the various causes of nasal polyps, you may be curious as to how you can recognize if they are occurring. After all, they tend to be in a spot that’s pretty hard for you to see, so knowing the symptoms is a good idea.
Nasal Polyp Symptoms
The unfortunate thing about nasal polyps is that a lot of their symptoms can mimic those of an allergy or cold, making it hard to realize that they are there.
The symptoms can include:
- A runny nose
- Persistent stuffiness
- Postnasal drip
- Pressure over your forehead and face
- Facial pain or a headache
- Pain in the upper teeth
- Decreased or absent sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
These could just as easily be the symptoms of a cold or a sinus infection. So, is there something that can help differentiate a nasal polyp issue from a cold? The length of time can be a sign that it’s nasal polyps if you suffer from these symptoms for over 10 days (a cold’s standard threshold). If you are still finding that you have issues breathing during sleep after the cold should have disappeared, it may also signal nasal polyps.
And if you think you have nasal polyps, your next move is to head to the doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.
How to Diagnose and Treat Nasal Polyps
So, you think you may have nasal polyps. You’ve headed to the doctor to get your nose checked out and diagnose your condition. Given what you’ve heard about the symptoms, how does the doctor go about doing that and making sure it’s nasal polyps as opposed to something else?
After hearing about all of your symptoms, the doctor may proceed with a physical examination that may include a nasal endoscopy by inserting a small tube camera into your nose. He or she may also use a CT scan to see if it’s polyps or something else that is obstructing your airways. The doctor may order a test for cystic fibrosis, especially if the patient is a child. After those, if the physician is satisfied that you have nasal polyps, treatment will begin.
Treatment for nasal polyps can consist of a few different treatments.
Steroid treatment could range from a steroid nasal spray to steroids in pill form. These steroids help to shrink the nasal polyps.
In the case of large polyps that won’t shrink, the physician will perform a surgery known as a polypectomy. He or she will use a small nasal telescope and remove the polyp. The procedure tends to be a day surgery and is relatively straightforward. However, the removal of the polyp doesn’t mean it won’t grow back at some point, especially if what caused them to be irritated in the first place is still present.
Beyond these doctor-administered treatments, there are a few nasal polyp natural remedies that might also be able to help you shrink the polyps.
Nasal Polyps Natural Treatment Tips
If you can’t make it to the doctor’s office right away, you may want to try one of these natural treatments for nasal polyps.
1. Tea Tree Oil
You may be familiar with tea tree oil as it tends to be the natural remedy to shrink or get rid of just about anything. The same goes for nasal polyps. Dip a cotton swab in tea tree oil, and then rub the swab around the opening of the nasal cavity. The treatment will provide relief from the various cold symptoms that go with a nasal polyp, as well as help shrink the polyp itself.
2. Hot Shower
Hot showers can relax your muscles, including those in the face. The steam will help unclog your system and can give the polyp time to let the inflammation die down and shrink.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy that has many benefits. And, it may indeed have the power to help you with your nasal polyps. Take one cup of apple cider vinegar and four cups of water, and heat the solution until it steams. Inhale the fumes which should help shrink the nasal polyps after a few treatments.
3. Castor Oil
Castor oil may be able to assist you in not only getting rid of your nasal polyp symptoms, but it might also be able to shrink the polyps in Or, if they have been already removed, it may stop them from reoccurring. All of this from one tablespoon of castor oil in the morning.
4. Garlic and Onions
Garlic and onions are both used for many different home remedies. In the case of nasal polyps, all you have to do is eat raw onions or garlic, and let their antifungal and antibacterial properties go to work. They can help with congestion and relieve polyp inflammation, which will allow them to shrink.
Horseradish has some great antibacterial properties used in several home remedies. Here, the horseradish can help clean out the symptoms of a nasal polyp, as well as what might be irritating it. It may also be able to prevent polyps from reforming after removal. Horseradish may be a little harsh to eat raw on its own, so feel free to mix it with a little bit of honey to smooth out the taste.
These home remedies may not work entirely to rid you of nasal polyps, but they may be able to help you out until a doctor is ready to see you or if surgery is required. If you are unsure about using any of these treatments, consult your physician just to make sure.
Nasal Polyps Need Shrinkage
Nasal polyps have a kind of worrisome name, but for the most part, they aren’t very dangerous. They aren’t painful, and they are rarely cancerous. They just get in the way a little bit and can sometimes prevent proper breathing. This guide prepares you for what nasal polyps might throw at you. Hopefully, we have given you all the knowledge and treatment tips (both medical and natural), so that you will breath easier and to help the doctor make an informed opinion on how to next proceed with your treatment.
“Nasal polyps,” Mayo Clinic, November 12, 2016; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nasal-polyps/home/ovc-20267294.
Nordqvist, C., “Nasal Polyps: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments,” Medical News Today, September 9, 2016; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/177020.php#nasal_polyp_risk_factor.
“10 Home Remedies for Nasal Polyps,” Search Home Remedy; http://www.searchhomeremedy.com/home-remedies-for-nasal-polyps/.
“What are Nasal Polyps?” WebMD, December 16, 2016; http://www.webmd.com/allergies/nasal-polyps-symptoms-and-treatments#1-2.