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Nasal Polyps in Children and Adolescents

Nasal Polyps in Children and Adolescents

What are nasal polyps? Why do they occur in children and adolescents? The symptoms, causes and prevention are all listed below. Read on, to find more.
Neha Rajan Deshmukh
Polyps are swellings that occur inside the nose. They are fleshy and filled with fluid, due to which many a time, mucus may drain out of the nose. At times, these polyps grow bigger and obstruct the flow of air in and out of the nose causing breathing problems. Nasal polyps in children and adolescents is quite a common phenomenon. One must remember that the polyps in children, below the age of ten years, is linked to cystic fibrosis, and must be looked into as early as possible.
Causes of Nasal Polyps
It is very essential to know why an individual develops these polyps.
  • Adults who are already suffering from severe allergies, sinus infections or fungal infections in the nose are very likely to be susceptible to it.
  • Structural abnormalities in the nose is also one of the cause.
  • Nasal polyps are sometimes a result of nasal cavities that develop due to sinus infections or other health conditions.
  • It is believed that frequent exposure to chromium is also one of the main causes.
  • As they develop, the mucous level in the sinus increases and thus creates a pressure thereby, resulting into double vision, a squint or a total loss of vision.
  • Ulcers in the nose or inhalation of inflammatory particles may cause cysts to form inside the nose. As a result, the activity of detoxifying sodium from the nasal passage is hampered. Hence, this leads to retention of water inside the nose thus giving rise to nasal polyps.
  • Patients of non allergic asthma are more prone to this disorder than those with allergic asthma. If a person is suffering from an infection, it causes the tissues which are lining the inside of the nose to swell a lot. Thus, the normal drainage from the sinus and mucous membranes interfere with each other. This type of swelling and diminished drainage through the veins may give rise to nasal polyps.
Symptoms
Nasal polyps develop when a person is already suffering from breathing difficulties or sinus problems. Sometimes, it is difficult to find whether a person has developed these polyps, as the symptoms rarely show if the polyps are very small. But, if they are big enough to hamper the regular breathing activity, then they can be detected easily. Usually a person comes to know that he is likely to suffer from this problem when he experiences:
  • Chronic cough
  • Sore throat
  • Excessive nasal secretion
  • A sense of smell
  • A blocked nose
  • Frequent mouth breathing
  • Severe facial pain
  • Extreme headache
  • In rare cases, a person may experience increasing distance between the two eyes thus causing a difficulty to see things clearly
Usually, this conditions is more common in males than in females. Let us see whether a person can try to avoid this problem by adopting the preventive measures.
Preventive Measures
Scientists are still not sure about the exact prevention for this disorder.
  • One of the best ways to prevent it, would be to avoid environmental allergies and infections which could later be a cause of the same.
  • Desensitization treatments have proven to be helpful in obstructing the stimulating causes of nasal polyps.
  • Anti-inflammatory medicines can be taken but only with the doctor's consent.
  • Apart from these, nasal sprays, allergy shots and antihistamines can be beneficial to prevent the blockages caused by these polyps.
  • Those who are already suffering from various fungal infections and allergies may have to undergo a chronic nasal steroid therapy.
  • People suffering from asthma and bacterial infections in the nose have to undergo the appropriate antibiotic course as a preventive measure.
  • In case of severity, steroid sprays are recommended. But, they have their own side effects. Hence, if this condition is checked in its initial stage, there won't be a time to use these sprays.
  • Some leukotriene antagonists may be beneficial at times.
  • As mentioned previously, sometimes, nasal polyps are due to certain structural abnormalities in the nose. In such cases, nasal polyp surgery is the only way out. With the help of the surgery, the structure of the nose is "repaired" and hence it eases up the process to cure this problem.
Thus, nasal polyps can be prevented up to a certain limit using the above mentioned tips. When the condition becomes severe, one must visit the doctor at once as negligence can invite some more troubles like ear infection and throat infection. Hence, make sure you follow the tips given above. Stay fit!