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Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths in the nasal passages and sinuses, often stemming from chronic inflammation related to allergies, asthma, or sinus infections. These polyps can cause symptoms like nasal congestion, loss of smell, and runny nose. Diagnosis typically involves a nasal endoscopy and may include allergy testing and imaging. Treatment options range from nasal steroid sprays and oral corticosteroids to surgical interventions like endoscopic sinus surgery for severe cases.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms, consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. Mourad, where the latest treatments to manage and alleviate your condition are employed.

Discuss your condition and explore nasal polyps surgery options with Dr. Mourad in NYC.

Nasal Polyps: General Facts and Information

What are nasal polyps?

A nasal polyp is a small, typically benign, teardrop-shaped growth on the mucosa of the nasal passages and sinus cavities, typically developing due to long-term inflammation. This inflammation can be triggered by chronic rhinosinusitis, allergies, and infections or may be related to an abnormal immune response to environmental triggers, such as tobacco smoke. During the development of nasal polyps, the nasal mucosa becomes swollen and fluid-filled, eventually forming polypoid masses. A diagnosis of nasal polyps often involves a nasal endoscopy, where a flexible tube with a camera, known as a nasal endoscope, is used to examine the sinus cavities and nasal passages. Treatment may include medications such as nasal steroid sprays, oral corticosteroids, or more advanced therapies like monoclonal antibodies, particularly if the polyps are associated with other conditions like asthma or allergy.

What are the symptoms of nasal growths?

Nasal polyps can develop following long-term inflammation often due to sinus infections or allergies, and might not always be preceded by acute conditions. These noncancerous growths form within the nasal cavity and are common across various age groups, though they are frequently observed in middle-aged individuals. The most likely sites for polyp formation include the osteomeatal complex—a critical area within the nasal passages where the sinuses drain.

Typically, nasal polyps are found in areas such as the ethmoid, frontal, and maxillary sinuses. Initially, if the polyps are small, you might not notice any symptoms. However, as they grow, they can lead to a blocked nasal passage and a range of symptoms indicating their presence.

Here is a common symptoms checklist:

  • Rhinorrhea (runny nose): Often persistent and not alleviated by standard cold treatments.
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste: Due to obstruction in the nasal passages.
  • Facial pain: Including pressure and discomfort around the sinuses.
  • Sinus headache: Pain or pressure is typically felt in the forehead and facial areas.
  • Discomfort in the upper jaw: Linking sinus issues with dental pain.
  • Snoring: Exacerbated by increased nasal congestion.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have been persisting for over a week, consider requesting an appointment with Dr. Maroud. He offers consultations in NYC for people with nasal polyps.

Nasal Growth Development and Side Effects

What is the root cause of nasal polyps?

Currently, medical experts have no explanation as to why nasal polyps form after nasal inflammation. They are also unable to determine why some patients’ polyps are the result of a chronic sinus infection, yet others are due to genetics and certain chemical markers in the immune system.

Am I at risk of developing intranasal polyps?

Certain individuals are more susceptible to developing nasal polyps, particularly those experiencing chronic sinus inflammation or frequent sinus infections. While anyone can develop these noncancerous growths within the nasal cavity, factors such as family medical history, allergic reactions, and long-term inflammation significantly heighten risk levels.

Risk factors include:

  • Asthma: Chronic airway tightening and swelling.
  • Pain Reliever Allergies: Inflammation of nasal passages from NSAIDs like ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Fungal Allergies: Nasal inflammation following exposure to indoor or outdoor fungi.
  • Cystic Fibrosis: Genetic disorder leading to thick mucus build-up in sinus cavities, increasing polyp development by 40%.
  • Churg-Strauss Syndrome: Vascular inflammation from this rare condition.
  • Immune System Characteristics: Higher polyp risk if genetic markers linked to polyp-causing immune responses are present.

When should I seek treatment for nasal polyposis?

Treatment for nasal polyps is dictated by their impact on your sinus health. Small polyps often require no immediate intervention, but symptoms like nasal congestion, a diminished sense of smell, and recurrent sinus infections indicate the need for a thorough evaluation.

Consider seeking medical advice if you experience:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): Breathing disruptions during sleep.
  • Asthma Flare-ups: Sudden and severe asthma symptoms.
  • Recurrent Sinus Infections: Chronic rhinosinusitis affecting sinus drainage.
  • Vision Problems: Issues like blurry vision or eye pressure from expansive polyp growth.
  • Severe Swelling or Headaches: Particularly around the eyes or sinuses.

For any persistent or severe symptoms, book an appointment with Dr. Mourad to discuss treatment options regarding nasal polyps.

Diagnosing Nasal Growths

How does your ENT doctor diagnose nasal polyps? After assessing your symptoms and using a nasal speculum to examine your nose under direct light, the process involves a few key diagnostic steps to confirm the presence of nasal polyps and any associated nasal congestion or sinus infections.

Nasal Endoscopy

Should a basic examination suggest the possibility of polyps, your ENT specialist may perform a nasal endoscopy. This procedure involves a flexible or rigid tube equipped with a light and camera, allowing detailed inspection of the nasal cavity and sinus cavities. It’s particularly helpful in visualizing not just the polyps but also any inflammation or other anomalies within the nasal passages.

CT and MRI Scans

For a comprehensive view, imaging tests like CT scans and MRI scans are utilized. CT scans are typically sufficient to reveal the size, shape, and precise location of polyps and any sinus cavity inflammation, while MRIs are reserved for more complex cases where there might be concerns about the polyps extending towards critical areas such as the brain or eyes.

Allergy Tests — Skin Prick Method and Blood Test

Given that chronic rhinosinusitis and allergies can lead to polyp development, allergy testing may be conducted. The skin prick test introduces suspected allergens directly onto the skin to observe reactions, helping to identify specific triggers. Alternatively, a blood test can detect antibodies to various allergens, useful in determining your immune response and guiding treatment strategies like the use of nasal steroid sprays or oral corticosteroids for managing inflammation.

If you aren’t sure you have nasal polyps, Dr. Mourad uses these diagnostic tools and tests to help determine if you may need nasal polyps surgery. Book an appointment online or call the number provided.

Sinus Polyps Treatment

What types of treatment plans will my doctor suggest?

    • Nasal Corticosteroids: Nasal corticosteroids, often administered through a nasal spray, are a primary treatment to reduce inflammation and decrease the size of nasal polyps. These steroid nasal sprays help alleviate nasal congestion and improve the nasal passage airflow, making breathing easier.
    • Medications: Alongside corticosteroids, other medications like antihistamines for allergy relief and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be used to address underlying allergy or chronic sinus infections. Oral corticosteroids are sometimes prescribed for severe inflammation.
    • Nasal Polyps Surgery: For persistent or significantly obstructive growths, surgical intervention might be recommended.
  • Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: This minimally invasive procedure uses a flexible tube with a camera (nasal endoscope) to enter the sinus cavities and remove the polyps. It is typically an outpatient procedure, allowing for rapid recovery and minimal postoperative discomfort.
  • Traditional Sinus Surgery: For extensive cases where endoscopic surgery might not suffice, traditional sinus surgery may be necessary. This approach involves more direct access to the nasal cavity and sinus cavities to remove problematic growths.

Is nasal polyps surgery dangerous?

While any surgical treatment carries risks, nasal polyps surgery, particularly endoscopic sinus surgery, is generally considered safe and effective. Risks such as infection, minor bleeding, or a temporary altered sense of smell are possible but are minimized by our experienced surgeons using advanced surgical techniques.

How should I prepare for my medical appointment?

Prepare by documenting any symptoms of nasal polyps you’ve experienced, such as runny nose or nasal congestion, and compile a comprehensive list of any drugs you’re taking. Information on your medical and family history, especially related to allergies or previous nasal or sinus issues, is also valuable. Avoiding irritants like tobacco smoke before your appointment is advisable.

What can I expect during my appointment?

Your appointment will involve a thorough examination of your nasal mucosa u

sing a nasal endoscope for a detailed assessment of the nasal cavity. The health care provider will review your symptoms, medical history, and conduct necessary allergy tests or imaging studies like a CT scan to diagnose the presence and extent of nasal polyps. This diagnostic process ensures that the treatment plan, whether it involves nasal steroid sprays, oral steroids, or possibly surgical intervention, is finely tuned to your specific health needs.

Call or book online to request an appointment with Dr. Mourad in NYC to alleviate your symptoms and enhance your breathing.

Nasal Polyposis Prevention

How can I prevent sinus polyps?

  • Treat existing allergies and asthma: Managing allergies and asthma effectively is critical in preventing the formation of nasal polyps. Regularly using prescribed nasal steroid sprays or oral corticosteroids can help control the chronic inflammation that often leads to polyp growth. It’s important to undergo allergy tests to tailor your allergy management plan, and regularly consult with your healthcare provider to optimize your treatment.
  • Avoid outdoor/indoor nasal pollutants: Limiting exposure to nasal irritants such as tobacco smoke, urban pollution, and indoor allergens (like pet dander and dust mites) is essential. These pollutants can aggravate the nasal mucosa and sinus cavities, increasing the risk of nasal polyps. Utilizing air purifiers can help minimize indoor allergens and maintain a healthy nasal environment.
  • Fight bacterial and viral infections: Preventing sinus infections is key to avoiding the exacerbation of nasal passage inflammation. Good hygiene practices and avoiding contact with those who are ill are essential preventive measures. Early treatment of sinus infections with appropriate drugs can prevent complications that may lead to polyp development.
  • Buy a humidifier: A humidifier can add necessary moisture to the air, which helps soothe and protect the nasal passages from dryness and irritation. This can be particularly beneficial during the colder months when indoor air tends to be drier, reducing potential inflammation in the nasal cavity.
  • Use a saline nasal spray: Regular cleansing of the nasal passages with a saline nasal spray can help keep them free from irritants and allergens, reducing the likelihood of inflammation and subsequent polyp growth. This simple routine can support the health of your nasal mucosa and prevent the common symptoms associated with nasal polyps.



Meet Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS

Moustafa Mourad, MD, FACS is board-certified in head and neck surgery and highly-trained in cosmetic plastic surgery and facial reconstruction. Dr. Mourad is also a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He treats many conditions, both cosmetic and complex, that affect the head, neck... Learn More »

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