What are nasal polyps?

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:46 pm
Polyps (POL-IPS) are round, soft smooth structures attached to the nasal passage by a slender stalk. They generally grow in clusters. When they grow large enough, they will obstruct your breathing and must eventually be removed. Frequent or prolonged allergies or infections in the nose are the most common cause of polyps, although they have also been associated with cystic fibrosis and oversensitivity to aspirin. Polyps may shrink when the allergy or infection clears up, but surgery is the only way to remove them. This is normally a simple procedure, performed in the doctor's office with a local anesthetic. Since polyps tend to grow back once they've developed, it may be necessary to continue using a steroid nasal spray indefinitely after they've been removed. If you've been experiencing difficulty breathing, see a good ear, nose and throat specialist. If the problem is polyps in your nose, the earlier they are removed the better.
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