A bump on the inside of your nose is referred to as a nasal polyp. Nasal polyps can range in size from tiny to several centimeters in diameter. Nasal polyps are most common in adults who have asthma, allergies or frequent sinus infections, according to MayoClinic.com. The bump usually grows on or near the ethmoid sinuses, which are near the top of the nose, and then grow into the nasal passages.
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Physiology of the Nose
The nose is lined with a mucus membrane, which is a thin tissue that secretes mucus in an effort to keep the nose and breathing passages lubricated. The mucus membrane is composed of small blood vessels as well as hair-like structures called cilia. The cilia and the mucus membrane work together to allow air to travel into the body while blocking any potential harmful substances that might be trying to invade the body.
Cause of Nasal Polyps
Nasal polyps form when the mucus membrane inside of the nose experiences chronic inflammation. According to MayoClinic.com, chronic inflammation is defined as any inflammation that persists for a period of 12 weeks or longer. It is unknown, however, why the chronic inflammation leads to the development of nasal polyps.
In addition to a physical bump inside of the nose, nasal polyps can cause other symptoms. Some common symptoms of nasal polyps include runny nose, congestion, postnasal drip, decreased sense of smell, decreased sense of taste, headache, snoring and itchiness around the eyes. A large nasal polyp can interfere with proper breathing and can force the person affected to breathe out of her mouth, according to MedlinePlus.
Some small nasal polyps don't require treatment, whereas treatment might be necessary for larger polyps. The only way to completely treat a nasal polyp is to surgically remove the bump from the inside of the nose. Medications can help relieve the specific symptoms of the nasal polyp, but they do not correct the condition. The procedure to remove the nasal polyp is called functional endoscopic sinus surgery.
One of the most common complications of nasal polyps is frequent sinus infections. The polyp causes the draining of fluids out of the nasal cavity. Another complication includes obstructive sleep apnea, which is characterized by the cessation of breathing during sleep. As a polyp increases in size, it can also result in deformity of the facial structure.