Q: Good evening Doc, please I want to ask what other way can you use to cure nasal polyp and what is the correlation with allergies?
A: A nasal polyp is a painless small growth in the nostrils with a stalk protruding from a surface. Though harmless, they can keep growing and block the nose if left untreated. Patients typically use the terms ‘stuffy nose’, ‘blocked nose’ or nasal congestion to describe this condition because of the obstruction (blockage) to the flow of air, in and out of the nose. It is not clear what causes this but it is thought that having asthma, allergy to air-borne fungi and a drug reaction to aspirin could predispose one to it.
Stuffy nose is the same description that patients with allergy use to describe their situation. In this condition, an individual’s immune system reacts in an exaggerated manner to certain foods or to pollen leading to nasal congestion due to swelling of nasal tissues (tissues in the nose) and blood vessels with excess fluid. This ailment tends to run in families and so history of people with same condition or asthma etc in that family is not uncommon.
To differentiate both, your doctor will look inside your nose. He/she should be able to see polyps in the nostrils where they exist. Treatment of nasal polyps include the use of steroid nasal sprays or drops to shrink the polyps. This can be upgraded to steroid tablets if the polyps are too big or fail to respond to nasal sprays and drops.
Surgery is an option after ten weeks and there is no relief. The only caveat here is that nasal polyps tend to recur. Please see your doctor immediately if you experience difficulty breathing, sudden worsening of symptoms or swelling around the eyes etc
In the meantime, to prevent nasal polyps or reduce recurrence, do the following:
Try drinking a lot of water
Use saline sprays instead of the nasal decongestants, if you’ve been indulging in this 😀
Use a humidifier which loosens the mucous. Turning on the hot water shower and inhaling the steam is another great idea.
Avoid irritants of the nose like smoke
Manage allergies and asthma. For more on asthma, please click on https://chatwithdrketch.com/2016/02/24/daily-health-tips-can-asthma-be-cured/
Practice good hygiene by washing your hands often. This will protect against infections that can lead to swelling of nasal tissues and blood vessels with excess fluid inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses.
All these measures will help reduce the nasal congestion.
Other causes of stuffy nose that your doctor may consider include:
Common cold. We are all familiar with this common cause of nasal congestion This causes blockage of the sinus, which results in nasal congestion.
A nasal septum (the wall between the nostrils) that is crooked or bent to one side may cause nasal congestion. This ‘deformity’ may be from birth, due to injury or occur as a process of growth
Excessive use of nasal decongestants can also lead to this as after the decongestant is stopped, there is rebound nasal congestion. And so, one ends up with the same situation they were trying to solve from the beginning! So, if you must, do not use your nasal decongestants for more than three days
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (air cavities) that line the nose. When these air cavities (which are supposed to be filled by air) become filled with fluid as a result of blockage, bacteria, fungi and viruses can thrive in this environment and cause infection. Pus-like nasal discharge, facial pain and persistence of symptoms for more than a week, maybe suggestive of this.
- Cold weather
- Foreign body in the nose
- Presence of tumour
- Medications for high blood pressure
- Spicy foods (remember how you start sniffling once you start on a hot dish?)
- Stress etc
There’s a pretty long list of causes, but your doctor will attempt to narrow down to what the probable cause for you is.
All the best!