Treating Nasal Polyps: What Are Your Options?

Your treatment may depend on what’s causing your nasal polyps.

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When nasal polyps are blocking your breathing or affecting your sleep, it’s time to see the doctor for help. Your doctor can offer options for treating nasal polyps, which may help shrink them or reduce the symptoms.

The best treatment for nasal polyps depends on how large the polyps are, how severe your symptoms are, and what’s causing the nasal polyps. Often, you have another health condition (such as asthma or allergies) that is causing the nasal polyps to develop. Treating this health condition may help treat the nasal polyps.

Options for Treating Nasal Polyps

There are a variety of options for treating nasal polyps, and the right option depends on your personal risk factors. Your doctor may recommend one of the following:

  • Avoiding allergy triggers: For example, if you are allergic to pet dander or dust mites, it may help to use a HEPA air filter and clean your home regularly. This may reduce irritation from your allergies, which may help prevent nasal polyps.
  • Avoiding aspirin: Some people with nasal polyps are sensitive to aspirin. When they take aspirin, they experience irritation and symptoms may worsen.
  • Antihistamines: These medicines are another way to control allergies and reduce inflammation. Learn more about antihistamines for allergy treatment here.
  • Antibiotics: This may help if the nasal polyps are a result of a bacterial infection.
  • Topical steroid sprays: These reduce inflammation in the nasal cavity, which help shrink nasal polyps. Learn more about steroid sprays here.
  • Oral or topical steroids: Steroid medicines can help reduce the size of nasal polyps. This can help make your symptoms less severe.
  • Biologics: These work by targeting the cells in the immune system that cause inflammation. By blocking that inflammation, nasal polyps are less likely to develop.
  • Surgery to remove nasal polyps: For very large nasal polyps that really block breathing, surgical removal may help.

Seeking Treatment Early

Many people suffer with nasal polyps for months or years before seeking treatment. Doctors do not recommend this, since nasal polyps can continue to grow. Large polyps may be harmful to your quality of life. That’s because they can block breathing, affect your sleep, and make you lose your sense of taste and smell. It might feel like you have a bad cold that just won’t go away. Learn more about complications of nasal polyps here.

Getting treatment right away can help you avoid those problems. Nasal polyps may return periodically, so it’s a good idea to build a relationship with your doctor and find what works for you.