By Dr Harsh Sharma, DHMS, BHMS
Published July 7, 2014, Last updated November 17, 2016
Having difficulty while breathing, obstruction of nose or feeling of the nose being stuffed up, loss of sense of smell or the tendency to get a cold or running nose, sneezing and a nasal voice could be the symptoms of the presence of polyps in your nose.
Understanding a nasal polyp
A nasal polyp is a non-cancerous, teardrop shaped growth in the nasal cavity or in the sinuses, where the sinuses are joined with the nasal cavity. They are usually soft in texture and feel like a jelly and may look like peeled, seedless grapes. Polyps grow on the mucous membranes that line the nasal cavity or the sinuses. Some small polyps are completely asymptomatic and do not pose any probem whatsoever. In cases, where they grow a little big, they can cause a lot of trouble to the patient. At times, they have been known to grow big enough to completely block the nasal passage. There is no hard and fast rule about their presence and they may be present on one side or both at the same time. Mostly, these are painless. There is a tendency for nasal polyps to occur more frequently in males and that too above the age of 40. At the same time, they occur rarely in children below the age of 10.
Cause of nasal polyps
While it has not been possible to know the exact causes that spur the growth of nasal polyps, it has been commonly seen that the possibility of presence of polyps is much more in people who have history of allergies or that of asthma. Inflammation of the nasal turbinates or in the sinuses can cause the polyps to develop, if the inflammation keeps on happening frequently. At the same time, it has been seen that those who have polyps keep on getting recurring colds and inflammation. This may form a sort of vicious cycle which may be difficult to break. A person having nasal polyp is more likely to have sinusitis and the reverse is also true.
Symptoms of nasal polyps
The symptoms that these nasal polyps produce are often dependent on the size of the polyp. Polyps which are quite small in size may not produce any symptom and often go unnoticed unless discovered by chance during investigation for some other problem. Polyps that are bigger in size cause most of the symptoms and are often visible to the naked eye too. The common symptoms that are produced by the presence of these polyps happen to be obstruction of the nasal passage, which makes it difficult for air to pass through. This makes breathing a laborous task and person often uses his mouth to breathe. A constant feeling of stuffiness and obstruction may be observed. Though not a common feature, but some polyps have been known to bleed. Slight pressure on the nose from touch or a blow to the nose may precipitate the bleeding. A diminsed sense of smell is present in most persons and some may even report a complete loss of sense of smell. Loss of taste may also be present in some individuals. Another common feature is the presence of headache and pain in the facial region. Since the nasal cavity is obstructed, there is often a collection of the mucous that normally drains from the sinuses into the nose. This collection becomes a source of infection. This infected mucous causes bad smell in the mouth or nose. The colour of the mucous changes from the normal transparent to yellowish or greenish and is often drained backwards into the throat. The presence of this infected mucous further irritates the mucous membranes and causes the nasal polyp to grow bigger or even newer ones to form.
Role of Homeopathy in curing nasal polyps
Getting these polyps surgically removed is not a lasting solution as they recur soon after. The biggest advantage that homeopathic treatment offers in the case of nasal polyps is that not only is one able to avoid surgery but there is no recurrence of polyps once they are cured. In my experience, homeopathic medicines like Teucrium, Sanguinaria, Agraphis, Phosphorus and Calcarea Carb give excellent results.