A nasal polyp is a swollen grape-like tissue in the nose caused by inflammation of the nasal lining. While sinusitis often accompanies nasal polyps, the two conditions are not the same. When found together, doctors refer to it as chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP). In order to determine whether you have a nasal polyp or sinusitis, you will need to see your doctor for testing and diagnosis. Learn more about the similarities and differences between these two conditions that can greatly reduce people’s quality of life.
What are Nasal Polyps?
Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths in the nose caused by inflammation of the nasal lining. In some people, these polyps become large enough that they block the passageways of your nose and cause nasal obstruction. Nasal polyps can cause severe discomfort, including difficulty sleeping and smell loss. Nasal polyps are not the same as sinusitis, but sinusitis is commonly present in people with nasal polyps. An otolaryngologist can help determine how to treat your nasal polyps and evaluate if there are any red flags that would suggest cancers or other worrisome conditions.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which are hollow cavities around your nose that make mucus, lighten the skull, and provide a crush zone to protect the brain during trauma. When sinusitis occurs, the body releases inflammatory chemicals to try to protect the body, but this inflammation can interrupt the function of the sinuses and cause a variety of symptoms, including congestion, thick drainage, and facial pain or pressure.
What is Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps (CRSwNP)?
Chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (CRSwNP) is a condition that can occur when nasal polyps become very large and begin to cause problems with your sinuses. This can happen in people of any age but is most common in adults. People may present with trouble breathing and other symptoms, such as smell loss, congestion of the nose, and facial pain/pressure. CRSwNP can cause major issues with a person’s quality of life.
What is the Treatment for CRSwNP?
Several treatment options for CRSwNP are available, but it is advisable to discuss your treatment plan with an otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat doctor) experienced in managing this condition. If you only have nasal polyps, you may need a nasal polypectomy to treat and diagnose if the mass is just a benign nasal polyp or something different. Medicines targeting inflammation or infection may also be necessary. For people with chronic sinusitis, sinus surgery is often beneficial to clear the sinus passages and relieve symptoms.
Visit us at SinusHealth for more information on sinus issues, the medical complications it can cause and the treatment methods available. Our board-certified otolaryngologists provide trusted answers to your questions. Get in touch with us if you need help finding a rhinologist. Feel free to also contact us online!