In some people, chronic inflammation is a nearly constant process within their bodies, and though it’s not fully understood why this happens, one of the results of this condition is sometimes nasal polyps. On their own, they’re not harmful, simply benign tissue growths that resemble skin tags, except they grow in the mucous membranes of your nasal passages and sinuses.
However, these spaces are meant to be clear and unobstructed. You know the misery you endure with congestion accompanying a cold. If nasal polyps start to block the easy passage of air, then you’ll have chronic breathing issues.
When easy breathing becomes an issue, it’s time to visit Alexis D. Furze, M.D., FACS for an exam and diagnosis. Dr. Furze and his team specialize in solutions for breathing issues, including the non-surgical SINUVA™ sinus implant.
Risks and complications
You’ve got a higher chance of developing nasal polyps if you’re susceptible to chronic inflammation of nasal mucous tissue. These may be present during respiratory infections or allergies. Other conditions that increase your risk of polyps include:
- Airborne fungal allergies
- Sensitivity to aspirin or other NSAIDs
- Cystic fibrosis
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Rare blood vessel conditions
- Close relatives that have nasal polyps
Once nasal polyps appear, you’ll potentially have issues any time that nasal congestion is an issue, since both breathing and drainage may be compromised. Polyps may also present these complications:
- Asthma flare-ups
- More frequent or chronic sinus infections
- Obstructive sleep apnea, a breathing-related sleep disorder
Diagnosing nasal polyps
Dr. Furze can often confirm that nasal polyps are present with questions about your symptoms and a quick nose exam. Sometimes, though, polyps may be present deeper in your sinuses, requiring a nasal endoscope or computerized tomography (CT) scanning to confirm their presence.
You may also receive an allergy test to determine if allergies are behind chronic inflammation. These can take the form of a skin scratch test or a specialized blood screening. Children may also be screened for cystic fibrosis as a precaution when polyps are found. Your vitamin D levels may also be checked with a blood test.
Treatments for nasal polyps and their complications
Chronic sinusitis occurs often in patients with problem polyps, and it’s often difficult to clear up regardless of the cause, so you may be treated for sinusitis first, before dealing with the polyps themselves. An injectable medication called dupilumab addresses congestion and polyp size.
Conservative treatments next target the size of polyps, typically reducing them with medications such as corticosteroids, administered orally, through a spray, or injected in severe cases.
In tough cases, Dr. Furze may use the SINUVA sinus implant. It’s placed directly in your sinus in a simple office visit and it delivers anti-inflammatory medication directly to the polyps, minimizing the impact of steroids on the rest of your body.
When all else fails, endoscopic surgery may be necessary to remove polyps and restore breathing and drainage.
Contact Alexis D. Furze, M.D., FACS at his Newport Beach office. Call 949-205-7745 to arrange your consultation. You’ll be breathing easier soon. Call today.