Fleshy and noncancerous growths that develop along the nasal passage lining or the sinuses and are referred to as nasal polyps. These growths are soft and do not cause any pain. They are often in the shape of a teardrop and start looking like grapes hanging on a stem as they grow. Read on to know more about the symptoms and causes of nasal polyps.
Symptoms of nasal polyps
Chronic inflammation commonly affects the lining of the sinuses and nasal passages in people with nasal polyps. In case the nasal polyps are large and high in number, they tend to block the sinuses and nasal passages.
In some cases where the nasal polyps are small in size, people might not experience any symptoms at all. That said, people with nasal polyps who develop symptoms can experience the following:
- A chronic runny nose might make the patient feel that they are suffering from cold all the time
- A blocked or stuffy nose can make the patient experience problems with breathing and lead to trouble sleeping
- Postnasal drop can make the patient feel that there is mucus running down through the throat continuously
- A poor sense of smell or complete loss of it, which might not go away even after the polyps are treated
- Loss of the sense of taste, which might not also go away even after treating nasal polyps
- Itchy eye area
- Snoring and sleep disorders like sleep apnea
Causes of nasal polyps
The exact causes of nasal polyps are not yet known, and it is yet to be understood why chronic inflammation occurs in some people or how inflammation and irritation can lead to nasal polyps in some people and not in others.
In some cases, it has been noted that the immune systems of people with nasal polyps have a respond differently than others. Evidence also shows the presence of different chemical markers present in the mucus membranes of people with this condition.
Factors that increase the risk of developing polyps
There are several factors that elevate the risk of developing nasal polyps, and the following people face a high risk of developing the condition:
- People who are allergic to aspirin or other NSAIDs
- People with asthma
- People with an allergic response toward airborne fungi
- People with sinus and nasal passage inflammation known as rhinitis that lasts for 12 weeks or more than that
- Young people and middle-aged adults are at a higher risk, but the condition can affect people of any age
- People with a family history of nasal polyps face a considerably higher risk
- People with cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that leads to the production of thick mucus in the linings of the sinus and nasal passages