What Are The Available Treatments For Nasal Polyps?
After an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist confirms the diagnosis, based on the examination of your nose and sinuses (using a procedure called nasendoscopy) and on your symptoms, he will prescribe a treatment based on medication, typically topical drops and sprays and steroid tablets.
Steroid Nose Drops
These represent the first-line treatment for polyps in the nose and they are based on steroids which decrease the inflammation. The polyps will gradually shrink in size and it may take 1- 2 weeks to get relief from the symptoms. Doctors usually recommend to use these drops daily for 4-6 weeks and you should use them as prescribed, for a successful outcome. Betamethasone ( brand name Betnesol and Vistamethasone drops) and fluticasone ( brand name Flixonase Nasule) are steroid nasal drops available only on prescription.
The right way to insert the drops is to either kneel, lie on the bed or to stand and bend down and forward. Remain with your head down for 3-4 minutes after pouring the drops, so that they can fully reach the back of your nose.
These typically include prednisolone and they are prescribed for a short-term, usually 1 week for the purpose of reducing the inflammation in your nose and for reducing the size of the nasal polyps. Long-term use of steroid tablets often have adverse effects. Doctors also recommend to use these in combination with steroid nasal sprays or drops. Although steroid tablets were until recently prescribed for severe symptoms, a short-term use of these tablets is now part of a routine treatment for nasal polyps. A recent study showed that a two-week course of steroids provides a better cure rate than topical steroids alone and it does not cause serious side-effects.
If the nasal polyps are very large and they do not respond to the prescribed medicines, surgery may be recommended. It includes either a polypectomy ( surgical removal of the polyps through the nostrils, with local or general anesthesia) or endoscopic sinus surgery ( for extremely large polyps and only under general anesthesia).
Steroid Nasal Sprays
These are recommended to prevent the reoccurrence of nasal polyps and they should be used on a long-term and regularly. The amount of steroids contained in the sprays is less than in the nasal drops, therefore they are safe to be used on a longer period of time, for prevention. If the polyps recur, than nasal drops are better for clearing them.
Some of the steroid nasal sprays are available without a prescription and you can buy them over-the-counter. These nasal sprays contain budesonide, flunisolide, fluticasone, beclometasone or mometasone. Other treatments include nasal decongestants and saline nasal douches, which can be used safely for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis and not specifically for nasal polyps.
It is in the best interest of the patient to consult a medical specialist before embarking on any nasal polyps treatment option.
Homeopathic treatment for nasal polyps is a viable and proven alternative to topical medicine and even surgery. Sanguinaria for example is a homeopathic medicine commonly used for the treatment of nasal polyps. Teucrium is another homeopathic medicine used to treat large-sized polyps in the back of the throat that can cause complete loss of sense of smell.
Also many herbs are used for nasal polyps treatment. The inflammation of the polyps can be reduced by using herbs such as eyebright which has an astringent action. This helps to shrink the polyps. It also acts to inhibit prostaglandin and reduce inflammation. Cayenne or hot pepper has also been found to be effective in the treatment of nasal polyps. It is also known to possess antibacterial properties. Flowers and bark of the magnolia tree are used to treat nasal polyps because of its astringent properties. It helps to break the mucus and increase blood circulation.
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