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Nasal polyps


Nasal polyps are small, sac-like growths consisting of inflamed nasal mucosa .

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Nasal polyps appear in a number of conditions. The polyps originate near the ethmoid sinuses (located at the top of the nose) and grow into the open areas. Large polyps can obstruct the airway.

Children with nasal polyps sound congested and often breathe through their mouths because of chronic nasal obstruction . A runny nose or infected nose is common.

Polyps are seen with asthma , allergic rhinitis (hay fever), chronic sinus infections, and cystic fibrosis . About 1 in 4 people with cystic fibrosis have nasal polyps.


  • Nasal obstruction
  • Mouth breathing
  • Voice -- sounds as if person is congested

Having any of the following conditions indicate a susceptibility to nasal polyps:

  • Asthma
  • Hay fever
  • Sinus infections
  • Cystic fibrosis

Signs and tests

Nasal examination reveals a grayish grape-like mass within the nasal cavity.


Surgery to remove the polyps is recommended.

Expectations (prognosis)

Surgical removal usually allows easier breathing through the nose.


  • Infection
  • Bleeding

Nasal polyps may recur.

Calling your health care provider

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if you have persistent difficulty breathing through your nose.


There is no known prevention.

Update Date: 2/5/2003

Edward Chang, MD, DDS, Facial Reconstructive Surgical and Medical Center, Palo Alto California. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT