If you find your nose constantly running and congested for weeks, you might have a serious nasal condition. Chances are that something may have grown in your nose, which is what’s causing all your symptoms. This something might be a nasal polyp, which is benign or non-cancerous tumors that grow inside nasal passages and lead to issues with breathing.
What Exactly are Nasal Polyps?
These benign growths or tumors are tiny sacs that could suddenly appear inside the sinuses or nose. They are essentially inflamed tissues that when big enough could result in obstructing your airways. In general, they’re considered to be a side effect of another health condition such as allergies, asthma, or a bacterial or viral infection. They’re most common in individuals who suffer from asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic sinusitis, wheezing from aspirin, and cystic fibrosis. But any health condition that causes persistent inflammation of the insides of the nose or sinuses could increase your risk of getting nasal polyps.
Common Warning Signs of Nasal Polyps
Generally speaking, the symptoms of nasal polyps are akin to the symptoms of the common cold, but unlike common cold symptoms, they don’t go away. These include:
- Frequent runny nose
- Significant pressure in your sinuses
- Persistent headaches
- Reduced senses of smell and taste
- Persistent sinus infections
- Stuffiness or chronic nose congestion
- Mouth breathing due to difficulty breathing through your nose
If these symptoms are familiar to you, it’s best that you find a family physician to evaluate your case. This is especially true if you live in places like South Jordan, Utah, which is ranked by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as one of the worst U.S. cities to live in for people with allergies.
How Serious are Nasal Polyps?
While nasal polyps are not that serious, this does not mean that the accompanying symptoms and discomfort are not important enough to forego proper treatment. They must be treated to alleviate your breathing difficulties and persistent symptoms, as well as the persistent sinus infections that could happen if nasal polyps are blocking your nasal passages and sinuses. In addition, you should also treat any accompanying infection.
Treating and Managing Nasal Polyps
Treatment for nasal polyps usually include the following:
- Oral corticosteroid medicines
- Nasal sprays with corticosteroids for shrinking nasal polyps and reducing tissue inflammation
- Antibiotics, in the event that the nasal polyps come with a bacterial sinus infection
- Surgery for removing the polyps if corticosteroid treatments don’t work
Unfortunately, in some individuals, nasal polyps can recur even if you managed to get rid of them during the first round of corticosteroid medications or surgery. While you can’t prevent them, you can reduce the risk of recurrence by using nasal sprays, taking antihistamines for your allergy, and getting allergy shots.
If your allergy or cold symptoms persist for weeks, nasal polyps may just be the culprits. But instead of wallowing in your sickness and suffering from discomfort, go to an ENT doctor to obtain a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment so you can start feeling better.