NASAL POLYP is a condition where the person experiences difficulty in breathing, occasional sneezing, the nose has constant discharge of watery fluid, and there is a reduced ability to smell than what it used to be earlier. These types of problems are common in allergies or a chronic sinus infection. But these signs and symptoms may be due to nasal polyps which is a soft, non cancerous (benign) growth that develops on the mucous membranes (inner lining of the nose or sinuses). When the nasal polyp is small in size it gives few problems, but when itâ€™s larger in size it can affect the breathing and reduce the sense of smell. Sometimes it may produce headaches and / or snoring. Nasal polyps occur as a result of chronic and recurrent allergy of nose like frequent colds or recurrent inflammation of inner mucous membrane of the nose due to allergy of nose or recurrent sinus attacks. Nasal polyp is common in people older than 40 and in adults and children with illnesses like asthma, chronic sinus infections, and other allergies of respiratory tract. Conservative treatment is the best way to manage nasal polyp with help of medicines but in some cases where the size of the nasal polyp is very big or clinically the polyp is creating difficulty in breathing then surgery is and alternative option but if the basic problem of recurrent inflammation or tendency of recurrent allergy of nose is not taken care of than the polyps do return in few years. The symptoms of nasal polyp are that one may single or multiple nasal polyps in a group like a bunch of grapes The polyps are generally soft to touch, they have color of inner mucous membrane of nose when not inflamed, but when inflamed they look congested red and are often painful. The consistency is soft like jelly. The big sized multiple polyps may obstruct the airways in your nose, making it difficult to breathe. This may lead to mouth breathing, especially in children. The complains related to nose are
- A runny nose
- Persistent stuffiness
- Recurrent sinus infections
- Loss or reduced sense of smell
Apart from cosmetic importance the nose plays many important functions such as filtering the air that we inhale, making the inhaled air warm and moist. The nose is made up of bone (hard bone), cartilage (the soft bone) and mucous membrane the inner skin of the nose. . Each nasal cavity has three to four bony compartments know as turbinate which merges in to the septum which is a thin, cartilage-and-bone divider that separates the nose in to two hollow cavities. A mucous membrane envelops these structures in the inner part of nose. This mucus membrane acts as a filter for bacteria and other dist particles, which are removed out of the nose with the help of hairs present in the inner part of nose. When air that is inhaled is cold or dry, there is swelling of the mucus membrane in the inner part of the nose. This results in to the narrowing of the nasal air passages which slows down the flow of air so that it becomes warm and moist before it can reach to the lungs. The nose is also supplied by a nerve called olfactory nerves which is responsible for smelling with the help of its connection to the smell center in brain. Without the nose-brain connection, the nose canâ€™t smell. Nasal polyps can develop in the mucous lining of the nose or in one or more of nasal sinuses. The nasal polyps are not the disease in themselves. They are actually the end product of recurrent allergy and inflammation of the nasal mucus membrane. Chronic inflammation makes the blood vessels in the lining of the nose and sinuses to become more permeable, which allows water to accumulate in the cells. Over the period of few months or years these water logged cells are pulled down as a result of gravity pulls on these waterlogged tissues, which may result into polyps. Polyp may some time lead to complications. A single, small nasal polyp rarely causes complications, but a large polyp or many smaller polyps (polyposis) may lead to the following complications.
- Acute or chronic sinus infections.
- Obstructive sleep apnea.
- Altered facial structure leading to double vision or unusually wide-set eyes.
Prevention of Nasal Polyp:
It is difficult to prevent a nasal polyp. But if you have asthma, nasal allergies or chronic sinus infections, managing the symptoms asthma or other nasal allergies may help in controlling the nasal congestion or breathing difficulties. Irrigating the sinuses with salt water may help relieve mild nasal congestion and eliminate mucus. It helps cleaning the sinuses and accumulated mucus gets cleared. This improves breathing difficulties. One should avoid over-the-counter saline sprays that contain additives, such as benzalkonium, which can actually inflame the mucous lining of the nose and exacerbate the symptoms. One can use preservative-free saline sprays. You can make your own saline solution, by mixing 1/4 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water. Pour some of the solution into your cupped hand and sniff into your nostrils. You can also inject the solution using an ear bulb or syringe. Then gently clear your nose with a tissue.
Role of Homeopathy in Nasal Polyp:
Homeopathy has a very significant role to play in cases of nasal polyp. As we have seen in the discussion above that root cause of nasal polyp is recurrent allergies and inflammation of respiratory tract. This allergy could be in the form of recurrent attacks of running nose, sneezing or an attack of asthma. Homeopathy helps in preventing the nasal polyp from developing and the nasal polyps which are already there, homeopathic medicines help in preventing their growth. It is a simple logic that if we are able to control the allergy part we can control the nasal polyp. Homeopathy by its deep seated actions on human body brings significant improvement in tendency to have allergies of respiratory tract. This could be the case in asthma or frequent colds. Homeopathy improves your immunity and you are less susceptible to changing climatic conditions, food and other environmental allergies.