Nasal Polyp Diagnosis, Treatment, and Removal
Most nasal polyps are small and cause little trouble. They can grow larger, however, and when they do it may be necessary for your doctor to remove them. Large polyps can cause obstruction, postnasal drip, loss of smell, facial pain, and fluid buildup in your nasal cavity. They can also sometimes be cancerous.
To determine whether your polyps need further treatment, your doctor will look into your nasal cavity using an otoscope. However, this may not be enough. One study showed that doctors missed the nasal polyps in more than half of their patients when using an otoscope alone. If you suspect nasal polyps, find a doctor who will use fiber optic rhinoscopy, a method considered the gold standard for diagnosing these cell clumps.
Treating Nasal Polyps
If your nasal polyps need to be treated, you may have options. Your doctor may recommend topical steroids, in which case both nose drops and sprays are available depending on the location of the polyps. If drops are administered, you may be asked to lie down first. Be sure to let your doctor know if you have diabetes, ulcers, or uncontrolled high blood pressure, all of which can cause problems with corticosteroids. For some, other steroids may be a better option.
If your polyps don't yield to steroids, you may be recommended for surgery. The most effective surgery seems to be endoscopic sinus surgery (ESS), though good results can be had with a traditional avulsion polypectomy. After surgery, you will need to use a nasal saline spray to keep the surgical area clean.