6 Common Symptoms of Nasal Polyps

By AOO on February 27, 2024 under Nasal Polyps

6 Common Symptoms of Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are soft, benign (non-cancerous) swellings that develop in the nasal cavity or sinuses. They are a sign of sinus inflammation and can cause many symptoms that may affect a person’s quality of life.

There are some home remedies to decrease the symptoms of nasal polyps, but ultimately treatment requires surgery and postoperative medication management. We recommend making an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor (otolaryngologist) if you believe you have nasal polyps or experience any of the following symptoms.



Nasal polyps can trigger chronic nasal congestion due to the obstruction they create in the nasal passages. This can make it difficult to breathe through the nose, causing individuals to breathe through their mouths. Mouth breathing can cause further discomfort, dryness, and even snoring.

To relieve nasal congestion caused by nasal polyps, several treatments can be employed. Nasal steroid sprays are often recommended as a first-line treatment to reduce inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages. These products help to shrink the size of the polyps, improving airflow and decreasing congestion.


Nasal Discharge with a Change in Color

An increase in nasal discharge, which may become thicker, or change from clear to yellow/green, is another general sign of nasal polyps.

In these cases, good nasal hygiene is key. A saline nasal rinse used daily can help to manage this symptom. Over-the-counter decongestants may also help decrease the amount of nasal drainage, but they should only be used short-term, not exceeding more than 3 continuous days with a 2-week off cycle.

If the discharge is continued or accompanied by fever or facial pain, it is important to consult an ENT specialist for further assessment and treatment.


Post-Nasal Drip

Nasal polyps often cause post-nasal drip, as the excess mucus produced by the inflamed tissue can drip down the back of the throat. The chronic drip can result in a continual cough, sore throat, or a repeated need to clear the throat.

To control post-nasal drip, over-the-counter expectorant medications can help thin out the mucus, making it more comfortable to clear the throat. Staying well-hydrated can also help to thin the mucus and decrease post-nasal drip.  Prescription medications, such as corticosteroids or antihistamines, may also be recommended.


Snoring Problems

Although most snoring is due to factors behind the soft palate or tongue, rarely snoring can be related to the nose. Nasal snoring ensues when the flow of air through the nose is partly obstructed during sleep, causing the tissues in the throat and nose to vibrate. This results in the distinctive sound of snoring.

To reduce nasal polyp-related snoring, using a humidifier at night can help to keep the airway moist and reduce the vibration of the throat tissues.  Nasal strips also help open the nasal passages and ease snoring if there is external nasal valve collapse.


Decrease or Loss of Smell and Taste

The reduction or loss of smell or taste is commonly related to nasal polyps. The inflammation and obstruction caused by the polyps can affect the normal function of the olfactory nerves, responsible for detecting smells. This can impact the sense of taste, as the two senses are closely correlated.

Regular use of a saline rinse can improve the senses of taste and smell, as well as be beneficial to overall nasal health by keeping the nasal passages moist and reducing inflammation. In some cases, prescription medications, such as corticosteroids, might be prescribed.

If the loss of smell and taste continues, it may be necessary to have a medical evaluation and discuss further treatment options.


Sinus Pressure

Nasal polyps can block sinus passages, resulting in sinus pressure. This pressure often leads to discomfort in the face, specifically the forehead, cheeks, and around the eyes.

To thin out trapped mucus, a humidifier is recommended to maintain optimal humidity levels in your home. Appropriate humidity can also prevent your nasal passages from becoming too dry, which could worsen the symptoms.

Practicing good nasal hygiene is also essential for maintaining clear sinuses. Regularly using a saline nasal rinse can help flush out any irritants, reduce pressure, and decrease the risk of sinus infections.


Schedule a Consultation

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with nasal polyps, do not hesitate to contact AOO|ENT Specialist of the Rockies in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and Denver today. We also assist patients in the Lone Tree, Highlands Ranch, Parker, and Castle Pines areas.