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Throat anatomy
Throat anatomy


Nasal polyps
Nasal polyps


Definition:

Nasal polyps are small, sac-like growths made up of inflamed tissue lining the nose (nasal mucosa ).



Causes, incidence, and risk factors:

Nasal polyps start near the ethmoid sinuses (located at the top of the inside of the nose) and grow into the open areas. Large polyps may block the airway.

Having any of the following conditions may make people more likely to get nasal polyps:

About one in four people with cystic fibrosis have nasal polyps.



Symptoms:

Signs and tests:

Examining the nose shows a grayish grape-like mass in the nasal cavity.



Treatment:

Treatment may include medication, such as steroids or antibiotics. Some people may need surgery, such as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).



Support Groups:



Expectations (prognosis):

Removing the polyps with surgery usually allows people to breathe easier through the nose.



Complications:
  • Bleeding
  • Infection

Nasal polyps may come back.



Calling your health care provider:

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you regularly have difficulty breathing through your nose.



Prevention:

Although there is no real way to prevent nasal polyps, therapy aimed at the cause can help. Nasal sprays, antihistamines, and allergy shots may help prevent polyps that block the airway.

Also, aggressive medical treatment of sinus infections is helpful.




Review Date: 1/30/2008
Reviewed By: James L. Demetroulakos, M.D., F.A.C.S., Department of Otolaryngology, North Shore Medical Center, Salem, MA. Clinical Instructor in Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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