15 Sep Exciting New Treatment Options for Nasal Polyps
When you have nasal polyps it can often feel like being stuck on a carousel of miserable sinus symptoms and short-term relief.
It is not uncommon for people who struggle with nasal polyps to also contend with chronic sinusitis or other complicating conditions, such as allergies, asthma and other causes of inflammation. This, in fact, can lead to a vicious cycle and make nasal polyps more likely to reoccur and more difficult to completely resolve.
The complexity of the condition can make the treatment course more challenging.
However, for patients suffering from repeat nasal polyps it is now more possible than ever to achieve meaningful relief. There are numerous exciting new treatment approaches—such as the SINUTA sinus implant and different medications like DUPIXENT—in addition to well-established methods that can offer dramatic improvement and relief.
Below is a more in-depth look at nasal polyps and some of the treatment options available.
What are nasal polyps?
Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths of the tissues that line the nose and sinuses. These growths are often shaped like teardrops and form in groups.
Common symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Decreased sense of smell
- Decreased sense of taste
- Postnasal drip
- Runny nose
- Facial pain or pain in upper teeth
- Pressure around sinuses
- Itching around the eyes
The development of nasal polyps is associated with chronic sinusitis—or prolonged inflammation of the nasal passages and sinus. The cause of nasal polyps is not yet fully understood, due to the complexity of the condition. However, research suggests those affected by the condition may have an abnormal immune system response in their mucous membrane, which lines the sinuses and nasal cavity.
Nasal polyps should be diagnosed by your doctor. Generally, your ENT will use a nasal endoscope, a small thin telescope with a camera on the end, to see inside your nose (AKA a diagnostic nasal endoscopy). In some cases your doctor may take a small sample, or biopsy of the growth. CT or MRI scans of the sinuses can also show findings that suggest presence of nasal polyps.
The treatment goal for nasal polyps is to reduce their size or eliminate them. Identifying and addressing contributing conditions may also often be key.
The first course of treatment for nasal polyps is often a prescription nasal corticosteroid spray or other medical approaches. There are numerous drug treatment options available.
The good news is: for many patients this can shrink or even remove nasal polyps.
The bad news is: for many patients nasal polyps return if the irritation, allergy, infection or inflammation continues.
Antihistamines and decongestants may help with allergy symptoms that may lead to the development of nasal polyps, but these medications do not directly address the nasal polyps themselves.
And as previously mentioned, nasal polyps tend to reoccur. But research advances and development of new medical approaches offer a new exciting approach to treatment options. Read on to discover more.
SINUVA™ sinus implant
A non-surgical procedure for patients with reoccurring nasal polyps using the SINUVA sinus implant may be another potential treatment option. SINUVA is proven to reduce polyps and nasal congestion and obstruction
What is SINUVA?
SINUVA is a sinus implant that treats nasal polyps without surgery. During a routine office visit, your ENT will use topical and/or local anesthesia to numb the patient’s nose and sinuses. SINUVA is then placed in the sinus cavity through the nasal opening.
How SINUVA works
Its innovative design provides a 2-in-1 approach: it is designed to open in the sinus cavity and release anti-inflammatory medicine to treat nasal polyps for up to 90 days.
Severe refractory cases that have failed surgery may be a candidate for a new biologic drug, DUPIXENT, which is clinically shown to dramatically reduce polyp size and growth. DUPIXENT is a biologic, which is a type of medication that is processed in the body differently than oral medications, or steroids. Administered in the form of an injection, it doesn’t broadly suppress the immune system and is not a steroid. Instead it works by helping to block two sources of inflammation by targeting a root cause of your condition. Less inflammation = probably very helpful.
Surgical Treatment – Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
In cases where drug treatment doesn’t shrink or eliminate nasal polyps, you may need endoscopic surgery to remove polyps and to correct problems with your sinuses that make them prone to inflammation and the development of polyps.
If all of these options fail, then computer guided endoscopic sinus surgery is a final option. It is a very common, safe and effective procedure that we have been performing for the past two decades.
Your surgeon may also enlarge the openings leading from your sinuses to your nasal passages. Endoscopic surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
Ultimately, your doctor will help you determine which option is best for you.
As pioneers and leaders in the development of many of these new treatments, Ohio Sinus Institute can help provide you with a personalized treatment approach that address your needs and individual case. You don’t have to ride the merry-go-round of sinus and nasal polyp misery!
Start your path to long-term management and relief now with Ohio Sinus Institute. Contact us today to learn more and schedule your consultation!