Nasal Polyps


A nasal polyp comes from the mucous membrane of the nose and looks like a small stalk or bud. You can usually not see if you have nasal polyps yourself because they sit far into the nose. Small polyps usually do not cause any symptoms at all, but if the polyps become larger you can have problems especially with nasal congestion.

Symptoms of nasal polyps

The most common symptom of nasal polyps is that you feel stuffy in the nose for a long time and that the symptoms do not get better.

You may also have a reduced sense of smell and taste or recurring cunning.

The symptoms of nasal polyps often come slowly, over several years but sometimes it can go much faster.

Small polyps do not produce any symptoms at all. 

When and where should I seek care?

If you are very stuffy in the nose and have not improved after a month, contact a  health care provider.

What can I do for myself?

You can try rinsing your nose with a saline solution. There is a prescription to buy at a pharmacy or you can make the mixture yourself. Then mix a spicy salt in a deciliter of water. A little cooking oil in the mixture reduces the risk of dry mucous membranes. To get the saline solution into your nose, you can use a special nasal rinse or a plastic syringe. Both the jug and the syringe are available at pharmacies.


To see if you have nasal polyps, the doctor looks into your nose. Usually, the nostrils widen and glow into the nose with a lamp. If you are very stuffy in your nose, you may need to take nasal drops first.

Sometimes the doctor wants to look further into the nose. It does them with the help of a small camera that is inserted into the nose. The doctor can then look better and determine if there are signs of polyps or if the nasal congestion has some other cause. Sometimes the examination is supplemented with a layer X-ray.

Treatment of nasal polyps

You who have nasal polyps usually receive treatment with a nasal spray containing cortisone. This makes the polyps smaller.

The polyps can be operated away

The polyps can be removed if you do not get better after the treatment of nasal polyps with a nasal spray. How the operation is done depends on where in the nose and sinuses the polyps are located. In the case of mild problems, the operation can be done under local anesthesia and you can leave the reception immediately after the operation. If the polyps are large and widespread, you will be anesthetized prior to surgery. Even after anesthesia surgery, you can usually leave the hospital on the same day.

After the operation, you get a bandage in the nose and become completely stuffed in the nostril where the polyp was sitting.

Nose polyps may come back

Nose polyps may come back even though you have been operated on. To prevent the polyps from coming back, it is recommended to use a nasal spray with cortisone even after surgery.

What happens in the body?

Nose polyps are rounded growths in the mucous membrane of the nose. They grow down the nasal passages from the sinuses. Nose polyps are usually so far into the nose that you cannot see them yourself.

You can have one or more polyps, they can also vary in size. 

It is not dangerous to have nasal polyps but they can make it difficult to breathe through the nose. It is also important to exclude other causes of the trouble if they are lengthy.

What is it?

Often the doctor does not know why you have had nasal polyps. This may be because you have had a long-term bacterial infection or a long-lasting fungal infection in the nose or sinuses. It may also be due to allergic disorders.

You who are hypersensitive to acetylsalicylic acid are at greater risk of getting nasal polyps. Acetylsalicylic acid is found in some pain tablets, such as Aspirin and Treo. It is also more common to get nasal polyps if you have asthma. Asthma is usually alleviated after you have been treated for nasal polyps. 

Unusual for children to get nasal polyps

It is unusual for children to get nasal polyps. In these rare cases, the child should be examined by a pediatrician or an ear-nose-throat doctor.

Nose polyps are not the same as the adenoid or gland behind the nose, sometimes referred to as polyp behind the nose.

The gland behind the nose is located in the upper part of the pharynx and consists of lymphatic tissue. It is part of the body’s defense against infections in the same way as the tonsils. In children, the gland can grow and become so large that the child has difficulty breathing through the nose and difficult to open the ear trumpet. Then they may need surgery.

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