ZocdocAnswersWhat causes nasal polyps?

Question

What causes nasal polyps?

I'm stuffed up all the time and my doc said because nasal spray didn't help I might have nasal polyps. What exactly are nasal polyps and what causes them?

Answer

The most common cause of nasal stuffiness is nasal allergies (allergic rhinitis). This is a very common condition in which the lining of the nasal passages become inflamed, often from reactions to common air contaminants like mold, mites, pollen, and dust. Sometimes, when this stuffiness and inflammation is chronic, it can lead to the formation of polyps, which are small protrusions of chronic inflammatory tissue in the nasal lining. The formation of polyps is more common in those who have bad asthma and cystic fibrosis, but it can occur in anyone with nasal allergies. However, before, investigating this possibility, I would make sure that your medication regimen for nasal allergies is maxed out and that you are using all of the medications as prescribed. In particular, it is important to use these medications, especially the nasal sprays, every single day even on days when you are not having symptoms. If you only use them intermittently, they will not work very well. If on the other hand you are using the medications appropriately, then ask your doctor to consider a referral to an ENT doctor. The ENT doctor will be able to investigate the possibility of nasal polyps and suggest appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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