Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the
Harvard Medical School

1SHARES

What Is It?

A nasal polyp is a benign (noncancerous) tumor that grows from the lining of the nose or sinuses. These polyps usually occur in both the right and left nasal passages and obstruct the flow of air. They can make your nose feel stuffy, and can decrease your sense of smell. Not all growths in the nose are polyps.

Nasal polyps may result from chronic (long-lasting) inflammation of the lining of the nose, although they often occur for no apparent reason. People with chronic hay fever (allergic rhinitis) are more likely than others to develop nasal polyps. In addition, nasal polyps commonly develop in children with cystic fibrosis.

People with nasal polyps and asthma often are allergic to aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen. They may experience a sudden, severe shortness of breath if they take one of these drugs.

If you have nasal polyps and asthma, avoid medications containing aspirin or other NSAID. Remember that aspirin and other NSAIDs are present in many over-the-counter pain pills and cold and flu remedies. They also are present in some skin creams.

Page 1 of 9     Next Page:  Nasal Polyps Symptoms
Click here to to redeem your SparkPoints
  You will earn 5 SparkPoints
From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

You can find more great health information on the Harvard Health Publications website.