Nasal polyps are non-cancerous swellings in the lining of the nasal passage. They hang down like grapes or teardrops and grow in the inflamed tissue of the nasal mucosa. Although they are painless and do not exhibit any symptoms at first, they can get quite painful as they increase in size. Tiny nasal polyps lack nerve sensation, making them completely painless. But when they become big, they obstruct the air that flows through the nasal passage. This can cause a lot of discomfort and respiratory complications. The symptoms are very similar to that of a cold, and those with chronic hay fever are more susceptible to this condition.
Let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms of nasal polyps:
- Runny nose
Nasal polyps are commonly associated with a blocked or runny nose. This is because nasal polyps grow in the inflamed tissue of the mucosa. During an infection, the tissue swells up and produces fluid that drips out. Many may confuse this symptom with a cold. However, a common cold lasts anywhere between three and five days, whereas the symptoms of nasal polyps are persistent.
- Nasal stuffiness and congestion
When nasal polyps increase in size, they block the nasal passage, causing congestion and stuffiness.
- Postnasal drip
This symptom is characterized by the feeling of continuous secretion of mucus running down the back of the throat. Postnasal drip is often associated with cough, sore throat, a tickle in the throat, and maybe even wheezing when breathing in.
- Reduced sense of smell
Loss of smell, also known as anosmia, is common when the airflow is blocked. And polyps usually tend to block the nasal passage, which is why the one experiences a loss of smell. This symptom, again, can be easily misunderstood for cold.
- Pressure on the forehead or face
The continuous congestion and stuffiness can put a lot of pressure on the forehead, causing headaches and even facial pain. This is because the mucus tends to get blocked because of the inflamed nasal passage.
Since the patient’s nasal passage is blocked, they tend to breathe through their mouth. And this causes them to snore.
- Sleep apnea
It is a sleep disorder in which the patient may wake up tired and experience weakness even after a full night’s sleep. This symptom is accompanied by loud snoring and daytime drowsiness.
When these symptoms aren’t addressed in time, they may get worse. Some early warning signs of nasal polyps include trouble in breathing, double or reduced vision, limited movement of eyes, severe swelling around the eyes, splitting headache accompanied by high fever, and the inability to tip the head forward.