Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are a common source of nasal congestion problems. In fact, experts estimate that up to 20% of people who suffer from chronic sinus issues have Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. unknown Go to Source nasal polyps . In Houston, board-certified ENT and fellowship-trained Rhinologist Dr. Shawn Allen is highly experienced in diagnosing and treating all forms of sinus disease including nasal polyps.

Woman blowing her nose

What Are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are soft growths that develop on the lining of the nasal passages and sinuses. They are typically shaped like teardrops or grapes and can vary in size from a few millimeters to several centimeters. Nasal polyps are benign, which means that they are not cancerous. If left untreated, nasal polyps can enlarge and cause nasal obstruction or blockage. They may also impact drainage from adjacent sinuses, leading to chronic sinusitis.

Stressed man blowing his nose

Nasal Polyp Symptoms

Nasal polyps can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

What Causes Nasal Polyps?

The exact cause of nasal polyps is not fully understood, but they may be the result of inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses. Some factors that can contribute to the development of nasal polyps include airborne allergies, asthma, chronic sinusitis, allergic fungal sinusitis, elevated eosinophils (type of white blood cell), and cystic fibrosis.

Diagnosing Nasal Polyps

An accurate diagnosis is critical to successful treatment of nasal conditions. Dr. Allen will use his skill and experience, along with specialized diagnostic tools, to determine if nasal polyps are an underlying factor in your nose or sinus symptoms. During your consultation appointment, he will review your medical history and discuss your symptoms. He may use nasal endoscopy or CT Imaging to diagnose nasal polyps.

Treatment for Nasal Polyps

Treatment for nasal polyps typically involves a combination of medications and, in most cases, adequate surgery to allow access for topical medications to control inflammation and polyp growth within the sinuses long-term. Medications may include nasal corticosteroids, such as fluticasone nasal spray, which can reduce inflammation and shrink the size of the polyps. Other medications that may be prescribed include oral antihistamines, decongestants, biologics (antibody-based medications such as Dupixent), or medications added to nasal rinses such as steroids, antihistamine, and antibiotics. Optimal long-term management may also include allergy testing and immunotherapy if indicated to further reduce inflammation and histamine-related symptoms.

Surgery for Nasal Polyps

If medication alone does not effectively manage nasal polyps, surgery may be necessary. The most common procedure for nasal polyps is endoscopic sinus surgery. During this procedure, Dr. Allen uses a small scope with a camera to view the nasal passages and sinuses and remove the polyps using instruments designed for this purpose while the patient is under general anesthesia. In certain patients who previously underwent appropriate endoscopic sinus surgery, recurring polyps might be removed under local anesthesia in the office setting.

After successful treatment of nasal polyps, Dr. Allen may recommend follow-up appointments or treatments to monitor for or prevent the recurrence of polyps. Most patients achieve excellent control of polyp growth and eventually require visits only once or twice per year for surveillance, or even follow up as needed when symptoms arise. These visits are important, as uncontrolled inflammation becomes more challenging to treat over time and may require more use of oral steroids with the potential for greater side effects compared to topical steroid therapy.

Dr. Shawn Allen

Contact Dr. Shawn Allen

Dr. Allen understands that nasal and sinus symptoms can interfere with quality of life and he is committed to helping patients find relief. He can create a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs. Contact us to schedule a consultation.

1 The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

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Call: (713) 791-0700 or Request a Consultation Online

Dr. Shawn Allen has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.

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