Nasal polyps are flesh- like benign tumors that grows inside nasal cavity and sinuses. They mainly lead to nasal obstruction and runny nose. The color of nasal polyps varies. They can be yellow, grayish or pink. The size of these tumors varies as well. Those which are tiny may not even produce any symptoms unlike the bigger ones which are responsible for a sequence of symptoms and signs. In case that more the one polyp is present the condition is referred to as polyposis.
Up until now scientists have not found the explanation why these lumps occur. Still majority of doctors believe that chronic inflammation may lead to their development. The problem is that once they occur they tend not to withdraw. Instead they keep on growing until the symptoms are so intensive that a patient goes to see his/her doctor.
People suffering from asthma, allergies and cystic fibrosis are more prone to polyps. This disease prevails among people older than 40 and men are more affected than women.
The initial symptoms and signs may be similar to those of common cold. The nose is obstructed and one has difficulties with breathing. Runny nose and sneezing occur as well. However, symptoms of common cold tend to completely disappear after two weeks. In case of polyps symptoms and signs linger. What bothers patients most is that they have to breathe through mouth. It leads to dry mouth and eventually sore throat. This can also interfere in quality of sleep. Permanent excretion from the nose becomes irritating. Along with the last symptom postnasal trickle may occur as well.
Senses, smell and taste are functioning improperly. So called nasal speech is another consequence of nasal polyps. This speech is common for everybody who is suffering from cold or flu and happens due to of nasal congestion. Difficulties with breathing tends to affect the patients even during the night when heavy snoring occurs. One of the possible complications and even a reason for a patient to visit a doctor is sinusitis. Nasal obstruction leads to nasal congestion and improper excretion of mucus from sinuses into the nose. Detained mucus is an excellent source for further development of infections. Sinusitis goes with headaches hence one of the symptoms of nasal polyps can be a headache.
In severe cases polyps may cause sleep apnea. In rather rare cases if polyps are enormous they may deform the nose and middle part of the face. Still this does not happen so often. And finally if they are present at the very begging of the nostrils they may protrude and patient may notice them or even touch them.