Nasal polyps

Nasal Polypus, Nasal Tumor

What is Nasal polyps?

Nasal polyps are swollen tissue structures of the nasal passages associated with respiratory allergies. They are connected to the nasal mucosa and can cause partial obstruction of the nasal passages.

How is it diagnosed?

History: Symptoms may include nasal blockage, stuffed nose, and decreased sense of smell. Some individuals may have a clear nasal discharge and sneezing.

Physical exam: Polyps are visible with an endoscope.

Tests: There are no appropriate tests.

How is it treated?

Treatment usually begins with medical management to reduce the size of the polyps. A steroid tablet or nasal spray is prescribed for a few weeks. If this does not provide satisfactory results, surgical removal of the polyps (polypectomy) is usually effective. Surgery for nasal polyps is usually done on an outpatient basis.


  • For minor pain, you may use acetaminophen. Avoid aspirin, which may increase the tendency to bleed and is associated with allergic reactions in persons with nasal polyps.
  • Cortisone drugs or cromolyn in nasal spray or oral form for a short period to attempt to shrink the polyps.
  • Caution: Don’t use over-the-counter nasal sprays.
Information Brand Generic Label Rating
Buy Singulair Singulair Montelukast Off-Label
Deltasone Deltasone Prednisone Off-Label

What might complicate it?

Polyps can cause a sinus infection.

Predicted outcome

Nasal polyps can be a one-time occurrence or a chronic condition.


A malignant tumor of the nasal or sinus mucosa may present similarly.

Appropriate specialists

Otolaryngologist, allergist and immunologist, and infectious disease specialist.

Notify your physician if

  • You or a family member has symptoms of nasal polyps.
  • The following occur during treatment:
    • Nosebleeds that cannot be stopped.
    • Fever.
    • Pain that persists despite the use of acetaminophen.

Last updated 22 December 2015


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