Nasal Polyps can have a significant impact on your overall quality of life. The symptoms associated with this condition, such as difficulty breathing, loss of smell and taste and recurring sinus infections, can make it challenging to carry out everyday activities. As a result, many patients opt for surgical intervention to manage their symptoms and regain their ability to breathe freely. However, deciding to undergo Nasal Polyp removal is an important decision, and it's essential to understand when an ENT doctor may recommend this course of action.
An Overview of Nasal Polyps
A Nasal Polyp is a noncancerous growth that develops in the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. It is typically a teardrop-shaped mass, varying in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres. Although the precise cause of Nasal Polyps remains unknown, they are frequently associated with long-term inflammation of the nasal passages, which can result from underlying conditions like allergies, asthma or recurring infections. Nasal Polyp symptoms can include difficulty breathing, loss of smell or taste, postnasal drip, nasal congestion and frequent sinus infections. It's essential to seek medical attention from an ENT doctor if you suspect you may have Nasal Polyps to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate Nasal Polyps treatment or a Eustachian Tube Dysfunction Treatment plan.
Causes of Nasal Polyps
Nasal Polyps typically develop due to long-term irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes that coat the sinuses. Although the precise cause of individual variation in polyp susceptibility is not completely clear, genes may be involved in the development of this condition. Moreover, you may have an increased likelihood of developing Nasal Polyps if you have any of the following conditions:
- Chronic irritation and nasal passages or sinus swelling
- Recurring sinus infections, or Rhinosinusitis, are often associated with Nasal Polyps
- Inflammation caused by other conditions can also lead to the development of Nasal Polyps. These conditions include asthma, allergies (especially to fungi), drug sensitivities, immune disorders, other infections, cystic fibrosis and vitamin D deficiency
Symptoms of Nasal Polyps
The subsequent list of main symptoms associated with Nasal Polyps may assist in determining the necessity for treatment.
- A blocked nose
- Runny nose (Rhinorrhea)
- A diminished sense of smell and taste
- Pain in the sinuses and face
- Headache in the sinuses (pressure/pain in the forehead and face)
- Ache in the upper jaw
It is advisable to schedule an appointment with an ENT doctor if the above symptoms continue for more than a few weeks after a cold. If you notice a sudden growth of Nasal Polyps or have sudden onset of symptoms which match those of nasal polyps, immediately seek medical attention. Pay attention to the following signs that indicate a more severe problem:
- Extreme difficulty breathing through the nose
- A sudden and sharp escalation in symptom severity
- Vision issues (such as double vision, dark spots or difficulty moving the eyes)
- Significant swelling or puffiness around the eyes
- Migraines accompanied by a fever and an inability to bend the head down
- Bleeding from the nose
When Should You Seek Treatment for Nasal Polyps?
The need to treat Nasal Polyps is dependent upon the severity of the condition. In instances where a small polyp develops in the absence of any accompanying adverse symptoms, medical intervention may not be required. However, in more severe cases, Nasal Polyps can cause impaired drainage of sinus fluids, leading to a range of conditions resulting from chronic sinus swelling and blockage. Thus, patients experiencing symptoms related to Nasal Polyps should seek medical evaluation for appropriate diagnosis and management.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This occurs when the upper airway becomes obstructed during sleep, leading to shallow breathing or intermittent cessation of breathing. Nasal polyps causing a blocked nose may contribute to this condition.
- Asthma Attacks: Nasal Polyps can induce rapid, laboured breathing and chest tightness. They are closely associated with asthma and it is very important to get control on nasal polyps to help control asthma overall.
- Sinus Infections: Nasal Polyps can heighten the frequency and severity of sinus infections.
- Loss of sense of smell: Appropriate and early treatment of nasal polyps can help prevent long term issues with sense of smell. It is vital that you obtain an accurate diagnosis and have correct treatment to help optimise your sense of smell and taste.
Diagnosis of Nasal Polyps
The diagnostic process for Nasal Polyps may involve various methods as determined by the physician's recommendation. While a general physical examination, including a nasal inspection, may be advised by the primary care provider, detecting certain polyps may necessitate specialised tools. Further diagnostic evaluations may be necessary, including but not limited to the following testing procedures:
- Nasal Endoscopy: This is a diagnostic procedure that confirms and identifies Nasal Polyps, evaluates inflammation and abnormalities and involves the insertion of a flexible tube with a light and camera into the nasal passages and sinuses. Nasal endoscopy, a safe and effective procedure. It is essential in formulating an individualised treatment strategy for patients presenting with Nasal Polyps
- Allergy Tests: These tests can be utilised to assess the role of allergies in chronic inflammation, which can ultimately lead to the formation of Nasal Polyps.
- Imaging Studies: CT scans can aid in identifying Nasal Polyps located within the deeper sinus cavities and evaluating the degree of inflammation. Furthermore, they can assist in ruling out other growths or pathologies that may impede breathing and overall health.
- Cystic Fibrosis Testing: In the case of children with Nasal Polyps, cystic fibrosis testing may be recommended as it is a factor associated with the condition.
After obtaining a diagnosis of Nasal Polyps, seeking the counsel of an otolaryngologist can assist in crafting a customised treatment plan that takes into account your personal case and medical background.
Nasal Polyp Treatment Plans
At ENT LDN, following the diagnosis of Nasal Polyps, our ENT doctor will develop a comprehensive treatment plan that incorporates both short-term and long-term strategies to mitigate inflammation and address the associated symptoms of Nasal Polyps.
Non-surgical Treatments for Nasal Polyps:
Effective reduction in size and potential elimination of small Nasal Polyps can be achieved through appropriate medical management, including non-surgical therapies when significant blockages are absent.
Non-surgical therapies for Nasal Polyps may include:
- Sinus flushing with a saline solution
- Nasal sprays containing corticosteroid medication (anti-inflammatory) or adding such medication to sinus rinse
- Oral steroid medication
- Oral antibiotic medication
Although oral steroids can effectively reduce the size of Nasal Polyps, their impact is transient. If underlying conditions contribute to inflammation and Nasal Polyp growth, additional strategies such as allergy or asthma medication and antibiotics may be included in your Nasal Polyps treatment plan. In cases where non-surgical approaches are unsuccessful, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is often the most efficacious intervention for Nasal Polyps. If non-surgical medical management fails, your Rhinologist may recommend this treatment as the most effective option.
Surgical Treatments for Nasal Polyps:
If medical management fails to provide relief for Nasal Polyps, our team of Rhinologists (nose specialists) at ENT LDN may recommend Endoscopic Surgery as a treatment option. This procedure aims to address the root cause of your sinus issues, which may be causing inflammation and polyp growth. During the procedure, a small tube with a light and a camera will be inserted through your nostrils to view your sinus cavities. The surgeon will use specialised instruments to remove the polyps and any other blockages causing fluid buildup in your sinuses. Additionally, the surgeon may need to widen the openings connecting your sinuses and nasal passages to prevent further inflammation. The surgical procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis. After the procedure, your doctor will prescribe a nasal spray containing corticosteroids to help reduce the risk of polyp recurrence. You may also be advised to use a saline rinse to help soothe and heal your nose after the procedure.
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery: What to Expect
Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is a procedure that involves using endoscopes to access the sinuses through the nostrils. Before undergoing Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, patients will receive detailed preoperative instructions from their care team, which may include discontinuing certain medications and supplements that can affect bleeding.
The procedure is minimally invasive and does not require any external incisions, leading to no visible scarring. Patients can expect to experience some discomfort following the surgery, but this can be managed with over-the-counter pain medications. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery is a safe and highly effective option for treating chronic sinusitis and related conditions which has not responded to medication.
Our team of experienced Rhinologists at ENT LDN use advanced endoscopic techniques to achieve optimal outcomes and provide our patients with a comprehensive treatment plan.
After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
After undergoing Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, performing saline sinus rinses for a few days is essential to promote sinus hygiene. Our healthcare provider will provide comprehensive instructions on the appropriate technique for performing these rinses.
A postoperative visit with your surgeon is typically scheduled about one week after the procedure. During this appointment, your sinuses will be evaluated using an endoscope to assess healing progress. Once cleared by the surgeon, you may gradually resume normal activities. It is imperative to follow all instructions your healthcare provider provides to ensure the best possible outcome after Endoscopic Sinus Surgery.
To effectively manage Nasal Polyp symptoms after surgery, our healthcare provider may recommend regular use of anti-inflammatory nasal sprays or irrigations after surgery.
Nasal polyps and Aspirin Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD or Samter’s Triad)
As a nose and sinus specialist Mr Lakhani has a wealth of experience in managing this challenging condition. Typically patients have following three issues;
- Nasal polyps
- Aspirin or Ibuprofen allergy
Typically patients also notice a worsening of their symptoms with ingestion of alcohol or other types of foods. Early diagnosis and treatment is very important to help manage the disease long term. Patients with this condition usually require surgery earlier and may require more episodes of surgery during their lifetime. Along with surgery symptoms can be managed with medications such as steroid drops, sprays, nasal douches and tablets steroids. Diet modification can also help in controlling the symptoms. This relates to reducing foods containing higher amounts of salicylate which is the active compound in Aspirin and drives the inflammation in individuals affected by the disease. Mr Lakhani also works closely with immunologists in offering aspirin desensitisation where needed. There are a number of excellent support groups and websites with more information related to this condition.
Breathing Easy with ENT LDN: A Holistic Approach
Nasal Polyps can be a distressing condition that affects a person's ability to breathe comfortably. However, with the help of ENT LDN and our holistic approach to Nasal Polyp treatment, patients can now breathe easy and enjoy a better quality of life. Dr Lakhani, as an experienced ENT specialist, leads the team at ENT LDN in providing comprehensive treatment plans that incorporate short-term and long-term strategies to address the underlying inflammation and symptoms of Nasal Polyps. With their commitment to patient care and cutting-edge treatments, ENT LDN is paving the way towards a brighter and healthier future for Nasal Polyp patients.
ENT LDN offers comprehensive services to patients suffering from nasal polyps. Our ENT specialists, led by Dr Lakhani, utilise the latest advancements in medical technology and cutting-edge techniques to deliver personalised care that addresses each patient's unique needs.
Our services include thoroughly evaluating and diagnosing nasal polyps using state-of-the-art equipment such as endoscopes, CT and MRI scans. Once a diagnosis has been made, our team works closely with patients to develop a tailored treatment plan to alleviate symptoms and prevent the recurrence of nasal polyps.
We offer a range of treatment options, including medication, nasal sprays and surgical interventions such as Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, which involves the removal of Nasal Polyps using minimally invasive techniques. Our team also offers aftercare services to help patients manage their symptoms and prevent the recurrence of Nasal Polyps.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Nasal Polyps, we encourage you to book a consultation with our ENT specialists. Our practice is dedicated to providing our patients exceptional care and access to state-of-the-art treatment modalities.