​Nasal Polyps


Nasal polyps are small, cyst-like, benign (non-cancerous) growth formed in the nose and sinuses, mostly found in nasal sinuses that open into the nasal cavity. Nasal polyps are formed in the inflamed tissue of the nasal mucosa, which is a layer of wet tissue that shields the inside of your nose and sinuses and humidifies the air you breathe. If the nasal mucosa becomes infected, it swells and turns red, producing fluid that drips out. Over an extended period of time, this may form a polyp in the mucosa. The nasal mucosa can also swell due to allergy-associated irritation.

Polyps may occur with no previous nasal problems, but there may be a trigger for developing polyps. Some of the most common triggers are asthma, recurring sinus infections and allergies. It may also occur in children who suffer from cystic fibrosis. There is also a possibility that some people develop polyps due to hereditary tendency.

Symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • Nasal obstruction.

  • Nasal congestion.

  • Stuffy and runny nose.

  • Sneezing.

  • Facial pain.

  • Pressure over your face and forehead.

  • Postnasal drip (excess mucus dripping down the back of your throat).

  • Reduced ability to smell or loss of smell.

  • Chronic sinus infections.

  • Poor sense of taste.

  • Snoring.

  • Itching around the eyes.

  • Breathing through the mouth.

Symptoms of nasal polyps are quite similar to those of other disorders, such as the common cold. They are also manageable with the right treatment and care. However, if symptoms persist over more than a week, you must seek advice from a doctor at the Eye and ENT Service Line of The Aga Khan University Hospital.

If you experience difficulty breathing by blocked nostrils, change in vision, swelling around the eyes, severe headache or high fever, these signs are a cause for concern and must be evaluated by your doctor.
If left untreated, nasal polyps can:

  • Become large pushing the nasal bones apart and broadening the nasal bridge. If ignored in the long-term, this may adversely affect appearance and cause visual defects and or disease can go intra-cranially.

You can be assured of receiving the best quality medical care at The Aga Khan University Hospital. You can discuss your symptoms in complete confidence with our internationally accredited staff that will give you professional medical advice and offer personalized treatment and care.

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started.

You doctor will be able to make an initial diagnosis based on your medical history, as questions about your symptoms will be asked. A physical examination with a lighted instrument endoscope will also help your doctor look up into your nasal passage to check for any visible polyps. To determine the location and size of the polyp, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT (Computerized Tomography) scan may be necessary. Scans are also useful in revealing whether any bone deformity may have occurred due to polyps in the area. These scans also assist in ruling out other type of growths that may be medically more serious in nature.

Treatment of nasal polyps depends on the location and the size of polyps. Following are the non-surgical methods of treatment:

  • Nasal steroid sprays.

  • Antihistamines or antibiotics.

  • Oral or intravenous steroid medications for recurring/persistent polyps.

Sometimes, nasal polyps become too large or obstructive so that medication or sprays become ineffective. In such cases, surgery (polypectomy) can remove the polyps completely. For very larger polyps, an endoscopic sinus surgery may be performed. This surgery can be conducted under general or local anaesthesia. After surgery, nasal sprays and saline washes should be used regularly to prevent polyps from returning.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers various support services to help with managing or recovering from the disease or condition. These include but are not limited to nutrition, physiotherapy, rehabilitation, specialized clinics and some patient support groups. Your doctor or nurse will advise you accordingly.

The Aga Khan University Hospital offers financial assistance to those who are in need and fulfil the eligibility criteria. For further information, you can contact the Patient Welfare Department. You can find the contact number of the Patient Welfare Department in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

The financial counselling staff is available during office hours, at the main PBSD (Patient Business Services Department), to answer your financial queries on treatments’ costs and authorize admissions on partial deposit as per hospital policies allow. The financial counsellor in the emergency room is open 24/7. You can find the contact number of the Patient Business Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider.