Nasal polyps are growths located in the interior part of nostrils and the nasopharyngeal cavity. The cause is unknown and is commonly associated with other diseases like allergic rhinitis, asthma, sinusitis and some upper respiratory tract infections.
These growths are benign but there are several studies that point to cases of malignant tumors developing from the polyps. In severe cases, the number of polyps becomes significant enough to cause breathing problems and will need surgical removal.
The following is a list of things you can do at home to reduce your chances of developing nasal polyps, and if you have one, what remedies you can do to ease the discomfort associated with the disease.
Depending on the state you live in, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter corticosteroids to help you breathe easier. These work by reducing the size of the nasal polyps, freeing up room for air to pass in the nasal cavity.
The best time to take corticosteroids would be at night, or simply follow the instructions provided in the prescription. Corticosteroids dampen the immune system and also reduce inflammation and swelling.
Nasal sprays provide quick relief for obstructed nasal airways. They work by reducing the inflammation and swelling. Some nasal sprays also come with a mint scent that should give a cooling sensation.
Nasal sprays can have a solution of corticosteroids or decongestants or both. Be careful in using nasal sprays, as some health experts have identified a possible side effect of the overuse of nasal sprays called rebound congestion.
Steam therapy is also a good choice for people with nasal polyps. The steam will provide moisture to the dry and clogged environment inside the nasal cavity. This should facilitate an easier time breathing.
Some essential oils can also be added in the water while doing a steam therapy. Eucalyptus, lavender, and chamomile all have calming effects and should make your steam therapy experience a better one.
And no, you’re not supposed to inhale cayenne pepper because it will irritate your lungs. Instead, you can include cayenne pepper in your diet. The warmth that capsaicin (the primary compound that produces the spicy sensation) causes will help your body produce mucus.
Mucus works as a lubricant and in nasal polyps, this will help the polyps reposition to allow you to breathe. It’s also the main reason why you clear your throat after eating spicy food because it also acts as bronchodilator and vasodilator (both of which means to dilate lung airways and blood vessels).
The drug used for treating the symptoms of allergies is also the same for nasal polyps. It has a similar action to corticosteroids and helps reduce swelling. Antihistamines don’t suppress the immune system as strongly as steroids so people with nasal polyps can opt for a Benadryl instead.
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