If you’re over 50, you’ve surely heard of polyps. They form as a small clump of cells on the lining of the colon, and they can be cancerous, especially if they’re larger.
But Dr. Volpi works with another less well-known polyp, a nasal polyp. These are growths in the lining of the nose or sinuses, and they can impede airflow and cause other problems.
Dr. Volpi treats these nasal growths at our New York ENT offices.
What are nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps are teardrop-shaped growths that usually form in the area where the sinuses open into the nasal cavity. Unlike polyps that form in the colon, polyps in the sinuses are almost always noncancerous. These polyps hang down like grapes. Small nasal polyps may not cause any symptoms, while larger polyps or groups of polyps can block the patient’s nasal passage, leading to various problems.
What causes nasal polyps to form?
Anyone can have nasal polyps, but they’re most common in men over the age of 40. These growths are linked to chronic inflammation in some people, but not everyone. Causes aren’t fully understood, but there seems to be a link with allergic rhinitis, asthma, sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis. Some research shows a difference in the immune system response in the mucous membranes of people who develop nasal polyps.
What are the symptoms of nasal polyps?
- Stuffy or blocked nose
- Runny nose
- Postnasal drip
- Loss of taste
- Decreased sense of smell
- Facial pain
- Itching around the eyes
- Chronic infections
- Increased sensitivity to fumes, odors, dust, and chemicals
How are nasal polyps treated?
This is how Dr. Volpi treats nasal polyps in our offices on Park Avenue and Central Park West:
Treatment for typical nasal polyps usually begins with nasal corticosteroid sprays. These usually shrink the polyps or eliminate them completely. In severe cases, Dr. Volpi may use oral or injected corticosteroids. Other medications we may utilize are antihistamines and antibiotics to treat chronic or recurring infection.
If your polyps don’t respond to medications, Dr. Volpi may perform endoscopic surgery to remove polyps and to correct problems with your sinuses that make them prone to inflammation. The endoscope is a tiny tube with a camera on the end. It is inserted into the nostril and guided up into the sinus cavities. Tiny instruments then remove polyps and other obstructions.