Nasal Polyps

Nasal Polyps in Kirkland, WA

Allergies, chronic sinusitis, and other sinus problems are commonplace in the Pacific
Northwest. Many people who experience issues with their sinuses will have no significant
problems or complications caused from the condition. However, for some, nasal
obstruction or life disrupting symptoms like headaches, shortness of breath, and decreases
in smell or taste. Among these possible side effects, nasal polyps can develop. While not
usually dangerous or debilitating, they do sometimes require long term treatment or
surgical intervention. Luckily, the Ear, Nose, and Throat doctors at Northwest Face Medical
provide non-surgical and surgical treatment methods for nasal polyps.

Symptoms:

Nasal polyps–based on their size and cause–can range from having no symptoms to causing major breathing disruptions. Sometimes symptoms caused by polyps are not obvious due to similar symptoms caused from other conditions of the sinuses or nose. When someone does experience nasal polyp symptoms, the most common ones include:
  • Worsened nasal congestion
  • Runny nose
  • Snoring
  • Decrease or loss of smell and/or taste
  • Postnasal drainage
  • Trouble breathing (in serious cases where the airway is partially or completely blocked)
Polyps can occur with or because of other conditions like chronic sinusitis which carry similar symptoms. This can lead to other symptoms like headaches and facial pain along with a general worsening of the condition.

Causes:

While nasal polyps can grow without an identifiable cause, this is rare. Usually, polyps appear due to another cause or as a result of another condition. Continued irritation of the nasal passages and sinuses most often cause the occurrence of polyps. Although, not everyone with these conditions or problems will develop polyps. Some people may also have a genetic predisposition for polyp development. The conditions and situations that most commonly cause nasal polyps include:
Stock Photo For Page About Nasal Polyps In Kirkland

WHAT ARE NASAL POLYPS?

Nasal polyps are teardrop shaped growths that develop in the nasal passages and sinuses. They are soft and vary in size. Occasionally, you may be able to see them within the nasal cavity, although this is not always possible. They hang down similar to grapes. These growths are most commonly seen in adults under forty. Although, any person can develop them at any point in their life.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I HAVE NASAL POLYPS?

Unless you can physically see them, you will likely not be able to tell if you have polyps in the nasal cavity or sinuses. If you experience new or worsening symptoms and have one of the major causes, it may be worth visiting the nasal specialists at Northwest Face Medical.

The only way to know if you have nasal polyps is to have an examination by Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat, who are based in Kirkland, WA.  Once diagnosed and the cause is understood, our sinus specialists can create a customized treatment for your polyps.

DIAGNOSING NASAL POLYPS

Diagnosing polyps can consist of a simple, physical examination or the use of imaging technologies. Typically, your Kirkland ENT medical provider/ Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat will begin by looking inside the nose for visible polyps or causes of nasal obstruction.

Sometimes they will perform a nasal endoscopy. During this procedure, they place a tool with a camera through the nose and into the sinuses to look for polyps. Usually, between these two procedures, they can spot and determine if you have polyps in the nasal passages or sinuses.

In conjunction with these procedures, your Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat will want a full medical history. This is especially important if you have a condition that often causes nasal polyps. This will help Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat narrow down the cause. They have an in office CT-scan available to patients so imaging can be done quickly and easily and results are available immediately. No waiting to go somewhere else and then come back for test results. It’s that easy!

Prevention:

Preventing nasal polyps usually happens after their formation or removal. However, if you have asthma or chronic sinus problems, the best way to prevent polyps is to seek treatment and manage the condition. Adequately treating these problems will mean that your sinuses and nasal passages experience less irritation. This can reduce the chance of polyp development. However, many people with chronic sinus problems and other causes will never have nasal polyps.

If you have small polyps or undergone a polypectomy to remove them, our ENT docs here in Kirkland will usually recommend nasal sprays, oral medications, or both. These methods can shrink and prevent nasal polyps.

TREATMENT FOR NASAL POLYPS IN KIRKLAND

Once diagnosed with nasal polyps or a condition that causes them, it is time to schedule at Northwest Face Medical. Our Ear, Nose, and Throat specialists can diagnose and provide specialized treatment unique to you.

Consultation

At a consultation, Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat will want to begin by getting an idea of your medical history and if you have a history of related sinus or breathing problems. They may also want to know what medications you take. They will then physically examine the nose.

If the polyps are easily visible, they will discuss your treatment options based upon their size and position. If not easily visible, your Kirkland ENT doctor/ Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat may perform a nasal endoscopy. This may also allow them to determine a cause of your nasal polyps if not known.

Finally, based on your medical history, symptoms, and the condition of your sinuses and nasal passages, they can identify a probable cause. This will inform the treatments they recommend.

Treatment Options

As mentioned above, nasal polyp treatment depends on their size, the severity of symptoms, and the probable cause. In most cases, Dr. Allegra and Dr. Ummat will favor non-surgical treatments to attempt to shrink or manage polyps. This usually includes nasal sprays and sometimes other medications.

The most important treatment for nasal polyps is the treatment and management of the cause. For example, if chronic sinusitis is the cause, finding the best treatment for that often also treats and prevents polyps.

Non-Surgical:

If nasal polyps do not cause any symptoms or discomfort, there may be no need for treatment. However, these mild cases either go undiagnosed or are adequately managed through treatment for other conditions.

For small or moderately sized polyps that may cause some symptoms, nasal sprays and oral antihistamines are the most common treatments. Sometimes, these treatments can shrink polyps and allow for long term management. Unfortunately, if you stop these treatments, symptoms may return.

Surgical:

Severe cases of nasal polyps can block the nasal passages, hinder breathing, or contribute to a decrease in quality of life. In these cases, surgery may be warranted. Surgery can treat many of the causes of polyps, especially in the sinuses. Therefore, it is possible to remove polyps when performing another sinus surgery.

When an ENT surgeon removes polyps, it usually consists of a functional endoscopic sinus surgery. Using an endoscope, Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat will remove nasal polyps.

Typically, management methods like nose sprays may still be necessary to prevent polyps from re-growing.

Certain patients may not be good candidates for surgery. If you have severe medical conditions of any type or asthma, surgery may not be the most effective treatment.

WHAT IS SURGERY FOR NASAL POLYPS LIKE?

Nasal polyp surgery is minimally invasive. ENT surgeons often use an endoscope, small telescopes to limit the incisions and improve recovery. The entire procedure usually does not take longer than an hour or two and most patients tolerate it well.

It is performed as an outpatient procedure and most patients recover quickly. Thus, you will continue to need ENT care and management to make sure new polyps do not develop.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can Polyps Go Away On Their Own?

While not all nasal polyps require treatment and some will respond to home remedies, polyps will not go away on their own. Even conservative methods like sprays and medications usually only shrink polyps and reduce inflammation to open the airways.

Surgical removal is the only way to safely clear away polyps. Even with surgery, there is still a small chance the polyps could develop again. Therefore, this means that continued management and supervision by an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor are key.

Are They Painful?

On their own, nasal polyps are not painful. Sometimes when accompanied by chronic sinusitis or infection, you may experience some pain. However, this is usually caused by the underlying condition. In the event a polyp grows larger or develops to the point of blocking an airway, this can lead to pain. Nasal polyps reaching this size are rare, however, due to effective treatment methods.

Can They Be Cancerous?

Unlike polyps in other areas of the body, polyps in the nasal cavities or sinuses are not cancerous. However, there are other types of nasal polyps that are. Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat may have polyps tested that are not teardrop shaped or are hard. Most nasal polyps are not cancerous.

Will They Come Back?

After a functional endoscopic sinus surgery or other type of polypectomy, there is a small chance that polyps can come back. While this occurs in a relatively small amount of patients, you should consider this when planning long term management of nasal polyps.

THE SINUS AND NASAL POLYP TREATMENT EXPERTS IN KIRKLAND

The sinus experts at Northwest Face Medical understand the varying causes and intricate symptoms of nasal polyps. While normally a benign and not painful condition, polyps in the sinuses deserve attention and adequate treatment. Nasal polyps can indicate or worsen existing conditions. Due to their impact on the sinuses and airways, polyps are best treated by an Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor.

Dr. Allegra and Dr. Ummat both have extensive experience in treating sinus disorders and performing related surgeries. With over 30,000 sinus related surgeries between them, you can feel confident in the abilities of the ENT specialists at Northwest Face Medical.

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Allegra or Dr. Ummat at Northwest Face Medical, call us at 425-522-0555 or contact us online.

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  • Address 3105 Carillon Point Kirkland, WA 98033
  • Phone (425) 522-0555
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