UNDERSTANDING SINUS POLYPS, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENTS
WHAT ARE SINUS POLYPS?
The nose and sinuses are lined with mucous membranes just like the mouth, the throat or the voice box, and the lungs or the intestines. Polyps are outgrowths of mucosa that project into the nasal or sinus cavities and cause blockage. There may be one polyp as in antrochoanal polyp or many polyps as in the condition of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps, or in inverting papilloma or even in cancer or allergic fungal sinusitis. Therefore, all polyps need to be investigated by an examination with an endoscope through the nose, similar to a colonoscopy for large intestine polyps.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF SINUS POLYPS?
Symptoms may include a runny nose, stuffiness, or post-nasal drip. In some cases, there may be no symptoms. People suffering with sinus polyps can also experience facial pain, congestion, a distorted sense of smell, snoring, breathing through the mouth and sinusitis. If left untreated, nasal or sinus polyps can grow over time causing pressure and a widening of the nose and space between the eyes.
Book your appointment with Dr. Khetarpal if you are experiencing these symptoms to determine if you have sinus or nasal polyps.
IF I OR MY LOVED ONE HAS NASAL OR SINUS POLYPS, WHAT DO I DO NEXT?
Contact an Otolaryngologist, preferably one such as Dr. Khetarpal that specializes in sinus disease. He will do a nasal endoscopy in the office after numbing your nose, may order a CT scan depending on previous treatments given, or may even recommend a biopsy in the office after a CT scan if there is suspicion for a benign or malignant tumor or cancer. ALL polyps are not meant to be treated with Dupixent.
HOW ARE THESE POLYPS TREATED? IS SURGERY NECESSARY?
Depending on the size of the polyp, or if they are present only on one side vs both sides, or if they are associated with thick dense brownish or greenish mucin, or if they are suggestive of the tumor, different approaches are recommended. For some surgery is the best first option. For others, a trial of nasal steroids, oral steroids, and occasionally, an antibiotic may be recommended first.
Dr. Khetarpal is an ENT specialist with offices in The Woodlands and Houston. He will be able to determine the best treatment plan for your individual case and will walk you through each aspect of the process. Give us a call or book your appointment online to start breathing, smelling, and tasting life again!
For benign polyps, the trial of medication and nasal sprays is attempted first and if there is a marginal improvement, then surgery is recommended. At Texas Sinus, Allergy, Snoring & Sleep Institute, we educate our patients and develop a personalized treatment plan for care.