Nasal polyps are associated with inflammation of the lining of your nasal passages and sinuses that lasts more than 12 weeks (chronic rhinosinusitis, also known as chronic sinusitis). However, it's possible — and even somewhat more likely — to have chronic sinusitis without nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps themselves are soft and lack sensation, so if they're small you may not be aware you have them. Multiple growths or a large polyp may block your nasal passages and sinuses.
Common signs and symptoms of chronic sinusitis with nasal polyps include:
- A runny nose
- Persistent stuffiness
- Postnasal drip
- Decreased or absent sense of smell
- Loss of sense of taste
- Facial pain or headache
- Pain in your upper teeth
- A sense of pressure over your forehead and face
- Itching around your eyes
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if your symptoms last more than 10 days. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps are similar to those of many other conditions, including the common cold.
Seek immediate medical care or call 911 or your local emergency number if you experience:
March 08, 2014
- Serious trouble breathing
- Sudden worsening of your symptoms
- Double vision, reduced vision or limited ability to move your eyes
- Severe swelling around your eyes
- Increasingly severe headache accompanied by high fever or inability to tip your head forward
- Nasal polyps. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/ear_nose_and_throat_disorders/nose_and_paranasal_sinus_disorders/nasal_polyps.html. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Kalish L, et al. Topical steroids for nasal polyps. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006549.pub2/abstract. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- DeMarcantonio MA, et al. Nasal polyps: Pathogenesis and treatment implications. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2011;44:685.
- Diagnosis and treatment of respiratory illness in children and adults. Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement. https://www.icsi.org/guidelines__more/catalog_guidelines_and_more/catalog_guidelines/catalog_respiratory_guidelines/respiratory_illness/. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Aring AM, et al. Acute rhinosinusitis in adults. American Family Physician. 2011;83:1057.
- Adkinson NF, et al. Middleton's Allergy: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Bhattacharyya N. Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of nasal obstruction. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
- Naegleria fowleri. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/naegleria/. Accessed Oct. 15, 2013.
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