Nasal Polyps

What are Nasal Polyps?

Nasal polyps are painless, benign growths inside the nose or sinuses. It is typically a teardrop-shaped mass, which can vary from a few millimetres to several centimetres and develops in the mucous membrane lining.

The cause of nasal polyps are multifactorial and thought to be related to an overactivation of the immune pathways in many cases. Polyps are often linked to conditions that cause long-term inflammation of the membrane lining of the nose and sinuses, such as allergies, asthma or sinusitis.

Small polyps might not cause any symptoms, but larger growths or a group of nasal polyps can cause nasal obstruction, reduction in sense of smell and significantly impact quality of life.

Frequently asked questions

Long-term irritation and inflammation of the mucous membrane that lines the nasal and sinus cavities are the most common reason nasal polyps develop. Some people may have a genetic disposition to develop them.

You are more likely to develop nasal polyps if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Recurring sinus infections
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Certain autoimmune disorders
  • Conditions such as cystic fibrosis

Common symptoms of nasal polyps include:

  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Diminished sense of taste and smell
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain in the sinuses
  • Sinus headaches
  • Jaw ache
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnoea

Once diagnosed, Mr Annakan Navaratnam can offer non-surgical management of nasal polyps to reduce inflammation and the associated symptoms. This includes steroid and antibiotic mediation, either orally or by spray, and irrigation with saline solution.

However, if there is a significant blockage or non-surgical methods fail to alleviate the symptoms, Mr Navaratnam may recommend endoscopic surgery to remove the polyps from the nasal cavity or sinuses. Afterwards, you will be prescribed a corticosteroid nasal spray to reduce the risk of polyp recurrence.

Mr Annakan Navaratnam


Mr Annakan Navaratnam

Annakan Navaratnam is Consultant Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Surgeon whose private practice is based at Harrow and One Welbeck Hospital in Central London and The Clementine Churchill Hospital in Harrow. In his NHS practice, he works at Royal National ENT Hospital, University College London Hospital (UCLH) and is an honorary consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

He has a subspeciality interest in rhinology and facial plastic surgery with particular expertise in septorhinoplasty and nose reshaping surgery.

Annakan is excellently placed to manage general adult and paediatric ENT presentations and in particular is able to assess and treat complex problems related to the form and function of the nose. This includes endonasal (scarless) rhinoplasty, revision septorhinoplasty as well as advanced endoscopic sinus surgery.