Specialist expertise: Endoscopic Neurosurgery, Ear, Nose and Throat, Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, Nasal Dysfunction, Head and Neck Surgery, Rhinology.
A nasal polyp is a swelling of the lining of the nose, usually due to inflammation. They often originate from the ethmoid sinuses, which drain into the sidewall of the nasal cavity.
Conditions associated with polyps include:
- Late onset asthma in adults (rather than childhood asthma). 20-40% of patients presenting with polyps also have coexisting asthma.
- Aspirin hypersensitivity (not caused by an allergic reaction but an alteration on prostaglandin production) – in 8% of polyp patients, aspirin sensitivity occurs alongside asthma and polyps. These polyps tend to recur more than in other conditions.
- Cystic fibrosis
- Nasal allergy is present in some cases, but over two thirds of patients with polyps show no evidence of systemic allergic disease.
Nasal polyps are more common in adults and are rare in children between the ages of 2-10 years. If polyps appear in children, they should be examined to exclude cystic fibrosis.
The chance of developing nasal polyps is between 1 and 20 for every 1,000 people and the chance declines after the age of 60. They are more common in men but, in those with late onset asthma, it can also occur in women.