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Nasal Polyp

(Nasal Polyposis)

How to Say It: NAY-suhl PAH-lip


Nasal polyps are one or more growths on the inside of the nose or sinuses. They do not spread to other parts of the body.

Nasal Polyps

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The exact cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Nasal polyps are more common in men. Other things that may raise the risk of this problem are:


Problems may be:

  • Problems breathing through the nose
  • A nose that is runny or always stuffy
  • Sneezing
  • Problems smelling or tasting
  • Dull headaches
  • Snoring


The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam may be done. You may need to see a doctor who treats nose problems.

Some polyps may be seen by looking at the nose. An endoscope may be used to look deeper inside the nose. This is a small tube with a camera that is put in the nose. This is often enough to make the diagnosis.


The goal of treatment is to shrink the polyp. This can be done with steroid nasal sprays and other medicines.

People who are not helped by medicine may need surgery to remove the polyp.


There is no known way to prevent nasal polyps.


American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology

American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery


Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

Health Canada


Bachert C, Han J, et al. Efficacy and safety of dupilumab in patients with severe chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps (LIBERTY NP SINUS-24 and LIBERTY NP SINUS-52): results from two multicentre, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group phase 3 trials. Lancet. 2019 Nov 2;394(10209):1638-1650.

Nasal polyps. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2021.

Nasal polyps. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at:,-nose,-and-throat-disorders/nose-and-paranasal-sinus-disorders/nasal-polyps. Accessed January 5, 2021.

Last reviewed February, 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD