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Nasal Polyps


The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Sep 2020| Content last modified Sep 2020
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What are nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are fleshy growths inside your nose. They're usually oval in shape and may look a little like peeled grapes.

  • Nasal polyps are not cancer

  • You’re more likely to get nasal polyps if you have allergies, asthma, or family members with nasal polyps

  • Nasal polyps can block your nose

  • Doctors usually treat nasal polyps with corticosteroid nasal sprays (to lessen swelling), but sometimes they do surgery

What causes nasal polyps?

Doctors don't know exactly why people get nasal polyps. However, you're more likely to get them if you have:

  • A lot of sinus infections

  • Asthma

  • Allergies, especially an allergy to aspirin

  • Family members with nasal polyps

What are the symptoms of nasal polyps?

You may have no symptoms, but if you do, they may include:

  • Stuffy nose

  • Runny nose

  • Sneezing

  • Trouble smelling things

How can doctors tell if I have nasal polyps?

Doctors can tell if you have nasal polyps by looking inside your nose.

How do doctors treat nasal polyps?

Doctors first treat nasal polyps with:

  • Corticosteroid nasal sprays

If the sprays don't work, doctors may give you corticosteroid pills.

If the corticosteroid treatments don't work, or the polyps are severely blocking your nose, doctors may do surgery to take out the polyps.

To prevent nasal polyps from coming back, doctors may have you keep using a corticosteroid nasal spray.

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