The term ‘polyp’ can sound scary but in this case, it is a benign growth that is usually found in the nasal or sinus cavity. It is unclear how and why they develop, but an underlying history of allergies may play a role. Patients with nasal polyps will most often present to us with a stuffy nose and trouble smelling or tasting. After obtaining a patient’s history and examining them, we are often able to diagnose them with a nasal polyp. If it is something that we are highly suspecting and we don’t see any visible on exam, we may send patients for a CT scan of their sinuses for a better look. Treatment usually starts with intranasal steroid sprays (think sprays like Nasonex or Flonase which you may have seen commercials for) but if that is not enough, we may give a short course of oral steroids to help shrink them. Oral steroids tend to be very helpful when it comes to nasal polyps, but they cannot be used with great frequency as they can come with several side effects (ex: osteoporosis, weight gain, diabetes, etc). If nasal polyps are extensive, surgery may be an option, but can be tricky as nasal polyps often come back. If you suspect a possible nasal polyp, feel free to make an appointment with us so we can help you take the next most appropriate step!
Author Ambka S. Ambka is a PA here at Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center of LI. She specializes in allergy and immunology conditions.