What are the Different Nasal Polyps Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2018
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Nasal polyps are growths that appear in the nasal passages and often in the sinuses. The polyps can vary from being very small to large. A person with a small polyp may be unaware that he or she has the abnormal growth. Alternatively, large polyps can become quite problematic. Nasal polyps symptoms may intensify as a polyp grows.

Certain conditions may make a person more prone to nasal polyps. Frequent bouts of sinusitis or sinus infections can be a factor. Allergies, hay fever and asthma may also lead to this type of problem in the nasal cavity. Sometimes, certain diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, can cause nasal polyps. Cystic fibrosis causes a thick mucus to build up in various parts of the body and abnormal growths in the sinuses, as well as the nose, can be a complication of this disease.

If a person has relatively small nasal polyps, he or she may not have any symptoms, however, nasal polyp symptoms are possible regardless of the size of the polyps. Postnasal drip and a runny nose are some common nasal polyps symptoms. Alternately, a person may experience the exact opposite symptom and have persistent stuffiness. The stuffiness may cause a decreased sense of smell to the point that there may be no sense of smell at all.


Snoring and mouth breathing can be some additional nasal polyps symptoms. Many people may develop symptoms that are similar to those experienced with a common cold. For instance, a headache and facial pain may occur. Certain individuals may also have watery or itchy eyes. Even though it is not a very typical symptom, it is possible to suffer a loss of taste.

If a person presents nasal polyps symptoms to a doctor, a full physical examination will typically be performed. The doctor will generally want to get a good visualization of the nostrils to see if any polyps can be seen. Physicians may order one or more diagnostic imaging tests as well. A nasal endoscopy is an example of a likely test. This test uses a thin tube to examine the contents of the nasal cavity up close.

Medications containing corticosteroids are commonly prescribed to relieve nasal polyps symptoms. Doctors also frequently prescribe nasal sprays. Large nasal polyps can restrict breathing and these types of polyps may need more invasive treatment, such as surgery. A polypectomy is a surgical procedure which may be used to remove some nasal polyps. Following surgery, doctors may advise patients to continue corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory medications for a period of time, which may keep polyps from recurring.



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