What Are Sinus Polyps?

Sinus polyps are grape-like growths of the sinus membranes that protrude into the sinuses or into the nasal passages. What causes polyps is not well understood, but some experts believe that allergies and infections can contribute to their growth. When polyps block nasal passages, they make it difficult for the sinuses to drain and for air to pass through the nose. When the sinuses are unable to drain, bacteria can build up and sinusitis can result.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Symptoms of sinus polpys are similar to those experienced with nasal blockage such as mouth breathing, obstruction, runny nose, and congestion. If you are experiencing obstruction of your nose or sinuses, an endoscopic examination or CT scan usually can determine the source of the obstruction, including polyps.

Although we don’t know exactly why and how sinus polyps form we do know they are associated with inflammation, allergies and often asthma. Medications aimed at reducing inflammation can help reduce the size and symptoms causes by your polyps.

Saline Irrigation Sprays – Using an over the counter mild saline spray or irrigation system regularly will cleanse and moisten the sinuses, it is also one of the best things you can do for your overall health.

Nasal Steriod Sprays – These reduce the inflammatory reponse and are the preferred treatment to reduce the size of nasal polyps. They are very effective in decreasing nasal congestion as well.

Oral Steroids – If nasal sprays are not effective it may be necessary to take oral steroids. These greatly reduce the size of polyps usually within the first few days. Steriods will not make your polyps go away, but will help bring them under control.

Allergy Treatment – If you have allergies, antihistamines and other allergy medications may be required as well.