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What are Nasal Polyps by Stacey Farmer

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Nasal polyps are usually benign, abnormal growths in the lining of the nasal cavities which are made of epithelial tissue.  The most common place polyps are found is in the nasal meatus. There are four nasal cavities maxillary, sphenoid, ethmoid, and frontal.  They are air-filled spaces in between the bones around your face.

There are many theories about the causes of polyps.  Typically, they are formed because there is not enough drainage allowing mucus to buildup in the sinus cavity.  This is an example of chronic sinuses.  Sinus infections are at an extreme state when antibiotics are not treating the infection.  Another reason could be sinus infections are left untreated.

Nasal polyps could also occur because the individual has an autonomic nervous system disorder.  The autonomic nervous system is divided into two classes.  The first one is the sympathetic nervous system and the other is the parasympathetic nervous system.  Both are released from the central nervous system.  Norepinephrine and epinephrine are released from the SNS.  The purpose for the sympathetic nervous system to release this is to help give you strength.  This means a person’s heart rate, blood pressure, sweat glands, and muscles will increase.  The parasympathetic nervous system does the opposite. The purpose of the central nervous system to have an autonomic nervous system is to send messages to different organs.  By doing this, it stimulates the cells.  If there is an extreme release of hormones being sent to the organs and tissues, it could strain blood vessels which could cause vasoconstriction and replicate cells in the nasal cavity.  Autonomic nervous system disorder theory could cause abnormal growth.

There are many medical conditions associated with nasal polyps, especially chronic abnormal growths, such as sleep apnea, fatigue, chronic inflammation of the sinuses, facial pain, loss of taste and smell, sneezing, nasal drainage, asthma, and aspirin sensitivity.  Individuals who have any of these conditions usually make an appointment with an Ear Nose and Throat doctor.  The ENT will advise the patient to get a CT scan of the nasal cavity and may put the patient on steroids to try and shrink the polyps and get rid of the inflammation.  If treatment is unsuccessful, the patient may need to undergo an endoscopy and maybe a septoplasty because facial bones can be deformed by polyps.  However, in some extreme cases, polyps can reoccur and will need to be surgically removed again.  This type of procedure is called an endoscopy.

These are only a couple of theories about the formation of polyps.  Scientists still cannot explain the occurrence of polyps.  However, there are treatments for this disease so the patient can have a healthier, more comfortable life.

Work Cited

“Allergies Health Center.” Nasal Polyps. WebMD, Inc., 20 Aug 2010. Web. 20 Oct 2011. <>.
“Asthma Health Center.” Aspirin and Other Drugs That May Trigger Asthma. WebMD, LLC, 05 Jan 2011. Web. 20 Oct 2011. <>.
Hiraide, F, and H Kakoi. “Histochemical study on innervation of glands and blood vessels in nasal polyps.” Pud National Center for Biotechnology Information, 1986. Web. 20 Oct 2011. <>.
Mayo Clinic Staff, . “Nasal Polyps.” Nasal Polyps. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 19 Feb 2011. Web. 20 Oct 2011. <>.
McClay, , John E. “Pathophysiology.” Nasal Polyps. WebMD, LLC, 22 Oct 2008. Web. 20 Oct 2011. <

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