Nasal polyps are soft, noncancerous growths that develop within the lining of the nasal passages or sinuses. They typically appear as small, teardrop-shaped or grape-like structures and can vary in size. While nasal polyps are often benign, they can cause significant discomfort and affect a person’s ability to breathe properly.
The presence of nasal polyps may lead to the following symptoms:
• Persistent stuffiness or congestion in the nose
• Decreased or complete loss of sense of smell (anosmia)
• Runny nose or postnasal drip
• Facial pain or pressure
• Frequent sinus infections
The exact cause of nasal polyps remains unclear. However, certain factors are believed to contribute to their development:
• Chronic inflammation of the nasal passages and sinuses
• Allergic rhinitis
• Aspirin sensitivity
• Cystic fibrosis
• Certain immune disorders
Nasal polyps can be classified into two main types based on their origin:
• Ethmoidal polyps: These are the most common type and typically develop from the ethmoid sinuses, which are located between the eyes.
• Antrochoanal polyps: These less common polyps originate from the maxillary sinuses, situated behind the cheekbones, and extend into the back of the nasal cavity.
Risk Factors –
Several factors increase the risk of developing nasal polyps:
• Asthma: People with asthma have a higher likelihood of developing nasal polyps.
• Allergies: Chronic allergic conditions, such as allergic rhinitis, increase the risk.
• Sinus infections: Frequent or chronic sinus infections can contribute to polyp formation.
• Aspirin sensitivity: Individuals who experience respiratory reactions to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be at higher risk.
• Cystic fibrosis: This genetic disorder increases the likelihood of developing nasal polyps.
While nasal polyps themselves are generally noncancerous and benign, they can lead to various complications, including:
• Chronic sinusitis: Nasal polyps can obstruct the nasal passages, leading to recurring sinus infections and inflammation.
• Asthma exacerbation: The presence of nasal polyps may worsen asthma symptoms.
• Obstructive sleep apnea: Large polyps can obstruct the airway during sleep, contributing to breathing difficulties.
To diagnose nasal polyps, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist) may perform the following:
• Medical history assessment
• Physical examination of the nasal passages
• Nasal endoscopy: A thin, flexible tube with a light and camera is inserted into the nose to visualize the polyps.
• Imaging tests: CT or MRI scans can provide detailed images of the sinuses and help evaluate the extent of polyp growth.
The treatment of nasal polyps may involve various approaches, depending on the severity and symptoms:
° Nasal corticosteroids: These reduce inflammation and can shrink or eliminate polyps.
° Oral corticosteroids: In severe cases, short-term use of oral corticosteroids may be prescribed.
° Antihistamines: They can help manage allergic reactions and reduce polyp growth.
° Antibiotics: If a bacterial infection is present, antibiotics may be recommended.
• Nasal irrigation: Saline nasal rinses can help alleviate congestion and keep the nasal passages clear.
• Allergy management: Identifying and avoiding allergens can help control inflammation and reduce polyp growth.
• Surgery: In cases where conservative treatments are ineffective or polyps are large, endoscopic sinus surgery may be required to remove or reduce the polyps and improve nasal airflow.
Ayurvedic Treatment –
- Steam inhalation – Inhaling steam at regular time duration throughout the day time may decrease nasal congestion and different symptoms associated with it. The procedure involves that boiling water is boiled into one pot with some amount of vaporizer and the steam should be breathed in at least 5-7 minutes.
- Use of apple cider vinegar – it is most effective remedy inhalation of the steam of apple cider vinegar. 10 ml vinegar mixed with hot water and inhale this steam throughout the day. It washes out the bacteria and infectious material from nostril and relieve in nasal congestion. It also works as lubricant which reduces the inflammation.
- Use of turmeric powder – turmeric has strong anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antipyretic properties. One tablespoon of turmeric powder should be mixed with one glass of hot milk and have it twice a day. It accelerates the healing process and reduces the production of extra mucus from nasal cavity.
- Intake of garlic – garlic has high antiseptic and antioxidant properties. It removes the infectious material and prevents the growth of nasal polyp. It also helps in mucus drainage. Take finely chopped garlic with hot water twice a day for better results.
- Tea tree oil – It has high antibiotic activity help in shortening of the polyp. Take cotton wool and dip into in oil and put it into the affected the nostril prevents recurrence of this disease.
- Use of pepper – A cayenne pepper contains high concentration of capsaicin. This chemical has capacity to reduce the extra growth in the nostril. It is good for intense headache associated with nasal polyps.
- Intake of pineapple – Pineapple contain substance known as bromelain which helps to destroy the extra cells and decreases the size of polyp. Sinus cavity immunity is well maintained by frequent and regular intake of this fruit.
- Application of castor oil – It is very effective and reduces the need for surgery. Consume one or two tablespoons daily reduces the risk of occurrence. It is best to take it orally, it eliminates the moisture content of the polyp and makes it dry. Once it becomes dry then it reduces in size. It also strengthens the immune system of human. It also kills the bacteria and fungus which are responsible for it.
- Breathing exercise – Breathing exercises help by reducing congestion and other symptoms of nasal polyps. Bhramari pranayama can open sinuses. These exercises also help to control breathing issue.
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