It can affect any age but is commoner in adults. Those with asthma, an allergy or sensitivity to aspirin are at greater risk.
Localised areas of the nasal passage and/or sinuses become inflamed and bulge outwards forming grape-like swellings which block the nasal cavity and the ventilation/drainage channels to the sinuses.
These include nasal blockage, loss of smell and taste, congestion in the cheeks and around the eyes.
Fibreoptic endoscopic examination of the nose and sinuses confirms the diagnosis. X-ray scans determine which sinuses are involved and the extent. Allergy and respiratory testing identifies underlying predisposing conditions.
Oral medication can shrink but not eliminate the polyps, and improvement may be maintained with long term nasal sprays and treatment of any underlying condition.
When the non-operative treatment fails, or patients cannot take the medication due to other medical conditions, surgery is required. Under a general anaesthetic, using fibreoptic endoscopy and instrumentation within the nasal passages, the “roots” of the polyps within the sinuses are identified and the polyps tissue removed.