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Snoring and Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps are growths that develop in the mucous membrane of the nose and nasal passageways. While the cause of nasal polyps is not known, they do appear to be more likely to occur in those who suffer from asthma or rhinitis. Asthma is a health condition that causes an intermittent narrowing of the airways that causes wheezing and a shortage of breath. With rhinitis, the mucous membrane lining the nose and throat becomes inflamed.

Nasal polyps rarely develop in children although the exception to this is that they do sometimes develop in children who suffer from cystic fibrosis, an inherited condition that causes body secretions to be abnormal and thicker than usual.

The symptoms of nasal polyps develop over months and sometimes years. The severity of the symptoms will obviously depend on the size and number of polyps but include

  • blocked nose
  • decreased sense of smell
  • excess secretions of mucous (runny nose)

Nasal polyps can also lead to recurrent sinusitis as the narrow channels that would normally drain the sinus cavities can become blocked by the polyps causing inflammation and infection.

Of course, any narrowing of nasal passageways can lead to snoring and it is important that the cause of snoring is considered and even investigated – for the sake of the person who snores and for their partner as it can cause long-term problems for them both.

If nasal polyps are suspected to the cause of your snoring, they can be treated. Once treated you will find your snoring problem is much improved. Your doctor will arrange for an examination to be undertaken by an ear nose and throat (ENT) specialist who may well conduct an endoscopic examination to view the internal structures of the nose and throat to allow a diagnosis to be made.

During an endoscopic procedure, an endoscope (a flexible tube that contains fiber optic cables and can transport instruments) is inserted up through each nostril in turn and used to view the nasal passageways, the back of the throat and the larynx. The procedure is usually carried out under local anesthetic with a mild sedative sometimes being available for the very nervous.

If the endoscope does not reveal the scope of the nasal polyp problem, sufferers may be offered a CT scan. If an endoscopic examination reveals a single polyp it may be entirely removed during the endoscope procedure. Nasal polyps when removed are routinely checked to ensure they are of the non-malignant type.

Small nasal polyps can be treated by the use of a corticosteroid spray, which will shrink the polyps over a period of weeks. A corticosteroid spray may also be prescribed after the surgical removal of polyps to prevent them recurring.

If nasal polyps are the root of your snoring problem, they can be treated very quickly and easily giving you and your partner relief from the inevitable broken nights of sleep that snoring can cause.