How to Manage Nasal Polyps

May 24, 2024 | Action Plan, Control Your Asthma!, controllers, PEF, symptoms

Nasal polyps can be irritating and painful – but what are they and how can you treat them? Here’s a look at what causes polyps in the nasal passages and how you can manage the symptoms in the long term. 

What Are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are painless, small growths which develop along the nasal passages and sinuses. They typically appear inside both nasal passages – lumps or cysts confined to one side could be caused by other issues which require medical investigation. 

What Causes Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps have many causes, but they’re often caused by irritation, swelling, and inflammation in the sinus cavities. Risk factors for developing nasal polyps include:

  • chronic allergies and asthma
  • chronic rhinosinusitis
  • cystic fibrosis

Many times, though, it’s unclear what causes nasal polyps to develop.

What Are the Symptoms of Nasal Polyps?

The symptoms depend on how many polyps you have and how large they are, but here are the most common signs to look out for.

  • Chronic stuffy nose
  • Facial pain over your sinuses
  • Headaches
  • Postnasal drip
  • Pressure in your nose or sinuses 
  • Reduced sense of smell or taste
  • Runny nose
  • Snoring

If you have asthma, you may notice more frequent asthma attacks if you also have nasal polyps. 

It can be hard to tell whether you just have a cold, nasal polyps, or chronic sinusitis. If your congested breathing symptoms last more than 10 days, a doctor visit is in order! Call your doctor right away if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Double vision
  • High fever
  • Increasingly painful headaches
  • Severe swelling around your face or eyes 

Do Nasal Polyps Always Cause Symptoms?

No. Small polyps – and even some larger growths – won’t cause symptoms if they’re not blocking the nasal cavity. Treatment may not be required if your polyps aren’t noticeable. 

Who Gets Nasal Polyps?

Anyone can get them. However, they are more commonly found in adults. They’re very unusual in children under the age of ten. 

If you have nasal or respiratory inflammation – such as inflammation caused by asthma – you may be more prone to developing them.

Are There Treatments Available?

Treatment is normally aimed at reducing nasal inflammation which can help to shrink the growths. Treatment options include nasal steroids, oral steroids, and sinus surgery to remove the polyps in some cases.  

Do Nasal Polyps Always Require Surgery?

Not always. Surgery is typically only recommended if more conservative treatments – such as nasal sprays – don’t work or if polyps seriously affect your quality of life.

How Can I Properly Manage Nasal Polyps?


Young man with dark hair grimacing and holding his nose highlighted in red to emphasize pain

Although it’s impossible to prevent these polyps, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and improve how you feel. 

  • Use nasal rinses: Nasal irrigation using a sterile wash or salt solution can remove irritants from your nasal passages, which could make you feel more comfortable.
  • Control your asthma: Effective asthma management is crucial if you have nasal polyps. Contact Asthmaniac for help controlling your asthma which will in turn reduce inflammation in your airways.  
  • Use a humidifier: Humidifiers can moisten the air around your home, which might improve your symptoms by making it easier for mucus to leave your sinuses.
  • Wash your hands regularly: Virus infections that attach the upper airways can irritate your nasal passages. Although you can’t avoid these pathogens completely, regular hand washing – and avoiding touching your face – can reduce your risk of infection.

Over-the-counter medications, like nasal sprays and anti-allergy medication, may also help you manage your symptoms. 

Symptom management can sometimes depend on the underlying cause of your polyps. Book a consultation with us if you have asthma and you’re concerned that it’s not under effective control.   

Who Can Help With Management of Nasal Polyps?

Getting a doctor visit should be your first step if you’re trying to control nasal polyps.

If you have asthma and suffer from nasal polyps, Asthmaniac can help. As your online asthma doctor, we’re committed to helping you manage your condition so you feel in control of your breathing. Whether you need an appointment quickly or a prescription for new asthma medication, Asthmaniac is here for you. 

Call today or book online to schedule a consultation! 

Do Nasal Polyps Cause Complications?

If the polyps block your air flow, they can make it harder for you to breathe comfortably. You may develop more frequent asthma attacks, and the chronic inflammation can make you more susceptible to sinus infections.  

Careful nasal polyps management can reduce the risk of complications, but there’s always the chance that polyps will worsen or come back after treatment.  

Do you need more help with your symptoms? Learn how to manage nasal polyps.

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