Allergy sufferers; those who are susceptible to colds and the flu; and people who smoke, fly frequently, or live in a dry environment can all suffer from repeated sinus problems. Sinus infections affect many people, but those who are particularly prone to them are more likely to develop serious concerns over time. One side effect can be nasal polyps. Even though these usually noncancerous growths are unlikely to be deadly, they can have some serious consequences, including hearing loss. Here is what everyone with sensitive sinuses should know.
How Nasal Polyps Form
The process of how polyps form, why some people have them and others do not, and why some will become large enough to cause a problem is not exactly known. What is known is that they do sometimes appear around the nasal cavity in people who suffer repeated bouts of nasal congestion or who experience a severe sinus infection. Some polyps will not grow large enough to cause any concern, but others can become large enough to prevent the sinuses from draining properly.
What the Symptoms Are
There can be a number of symptoms that can mimic allergic reactions, such as eye itchiness, nose stuffiness, and sneezing. There can be pressure and pain in the face, repeated or constant postnasal drip, or congestion. What makes nasal polyps stand out as not being a direct symptom of allergies or colds is the loss of smell and taste many people experience, even after the congestion seems to clear.
How Polyps Affect Hearing
The Eustachian tube connects the middle ear and the back of the nose. If polyps become too large they can lead to a blockage of this tube. When this happens the sufferer will often have a stuffy feeling in their ears and their hearing ability will be reduced. Removing the polyps will usually reverse the issue.
Polyp Diagnosis and Treatment
An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor can frequently diagnose nasal polyps visually with the aid of basic tools. If not, a CT (computerized tomography) scan will assist them in the diagnosis. Initial treatments usually involve corticosteroid sprays, antihistamines, or antibiotics. If these are unsuccessful, surgery may be needed to remove the polyps. Unfortunately, surgery does not stop new polyps from growing. For this, your ENT doctor will have to work with the you to find the solution that will prevent the chronic sinus infections or allergies that are causing the growths.
Constant congestion should be seen as more than inconvenient. If the sinuses are continuously blocked it can eventually lead to permanent hearing loss because the eardrum may be under too much pressure. Tinnitus, the loss of smell and taste, and dangerous infections are all also possible. Anyone battling with a chronic cough, congestion, or even just a repeated runny nose should speak to an ENT doctor like Angelique Cohen MD, SC to get a proper diagnosis.
I was badly injured a year ago, and it took a long time to get back to my normal level of ability. One of the things that helped more than anything was the time that I spent in physical therapy. I didn’t always love going to physical therapy – in fact, sometimes, I really didn’t enjoy it at all. But ultimately, the therapists and other patients I worked with helped inspire me to get better, and the exercises facilitated my healing process. I started this blog to talk about all of the things I learned about physical therapy and healing during my recovery time. I hope my blog reaches other accident victims. I want to offer encouragement, hope, and information for people who are in the same boat that I was in.