The exact cause for nasal polyps has not yet been found. People with allergies, catarrh and asthma are more prone to this condition. Children usually do not get nasal polyps. Patients with polyps have blocked runny nose with a reduced sense of smell. They may snore in the night. Polyps, resembling the shape of a bunch of grapes, may be seen during examination. Nasal processes (turbinates) should be distinguished from nasal growths. Many patients mistakenly take these for polyps and seek medical advice. (These processes are pink in colour and are attached tightly to the sidewalls). Small polyps can be treated medically. Large polyps, with complete nasal blockage and growth occurring only in one side, should be removed surgically. Samples must be sent for pathology tests.
Allergic conditions and catarrh must be treated to avoid a recurrence. As the above factors are hereditary, precaution is an imperative.
* Certain foods should be avoided (for instance, yogurt, ice cream, butter, puddings, cheese and bananas, eggs, oily meats)
* A mask should be used when exposed to a dusty environment
* Allergic reactions may occur due to pets (dogs, cats, birds) in the home, also leading to nasal growths.
* Keep the nose free of phlegm during a cold. The use of a handkerchief among children must be made a habit.
* Keep the head covered during outings early in the morning and at night.
* Exercises that cause sweating will lessen the nasal blockage.
* Steam inhalation may also help.
* Nasal decongestant drops or sprays may help to lessen the swelling. (But these must be taken on medical advice and on a short term basis).