If you experience frequent seasonal allergies with congestion, an annoying headache or other symptoms, there’s another condition you might want to keep an eye on: nasal polyps.
When left unchecked, allergy symptoms can lead to the development of nasal polyps over time. Though these polyps are generally benign growths that occur on the mucosal lining of the nasal passages, they can still cause obstructions of the sinuses that lead to more progressive and chronic conditions.
What Causes These Polyps?
Several causes of nasal polyps remain unknown, but there appear to be several common links related to allergies. This is due to the inflammation that allergies can cause, which often contributes directly to the development of nasal polyps over time.
The following conditions are known to correlate with a buildup of polyps:
- Allergic rhinitis
- Aspirin allergies
- Sinus infections
- Acute and Chronic infections
- Cystic fibrosis
- Foreign objects stuck in the nose
Some nasal polyps are tiny and cause few problems. You might not even notice that you have any at first. Others, meanwhile, produce symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, sneezing, loss of smell and taste, postnasal drip, headache, sinus pain and pressure and snoring.
If you already have nasal polyps, they can be treated with either medication or surgery. The goal is to reduce the size of the polyp or remove it completely in order to alleviate your symptoms. Nasal sprays, oral or injectable steroids, antihistamines and antibiotics are all common drug treatments. If they are ineffective, your doctor will likely recommend surgery.
It’s important to also treat underlying causes of nasal polyps to reduce the risk of developing more polyps in the future. If you’ve had nasal polyps or are experiencing the symptoms of nasal polyps, schedule an appointment with one of our ENT physicians and ask about allergy testing. We’ll conduct a thorough examination to determine if any nasal polyps are present and can talk to you about any underlying conditions that could be causing the polyps.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Willamette Ear, Nose, Throat and Facial Plastic Surgery today!
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