Nasal polyps are small sacs in the lining of your nose and sinuses which fill with fluid as tissues become stretched and irritated. The usual remedy for nasal polyps is simply to remove them – but of course that is treating the symptoms, not the cause.
Nasal polyps can occur as a result of several causes, from allergies to sinusitis. But we still don’t really know what makes one person predisposed to the issue while another person is not.
That may be changing. One recent study found that your blood chemistry influences your chance of acquiring, and reacquiring, nasal polyps:
Using the blood samples, the researchers measured, on average, 807 eosinophils [white blood cells] per cubic millimeter in patients before their sinus surgery, a level that dropped to an average of 200 one to two months after the polyps were removed. Over the next nine months, the physicians observed the eosinophils rise again to a high average of 338, presumably due to the regrowth of the nasal polyps. Kim cautions that the number of eosinophils from one patient to another can vary greatly and that the absolute number isn’t so important, but the change in levels with respect to the presence of polyps is key.
If this result can be repeated and verified, it would give sinus specialists such as myself another diagnostic tool to help patients anticipate and prevent the regrowth of nasal polyps.
The Los Angeles Sinus Institute boats the most extensive diagnostic suite outside of the Mayo Clinic, including onsite CT, allergy testing and more. For the best treatment of nasal polyps in LA, start here.