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How to get rid of nasal polyps permanently without surgery?

Nasal polyps are non-cancerous growths that develop in the lining of the sinuses or nasal cavity. They often occur in people with chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring infection, allergies, or cystic fibrosis. Nasal polyps can cause symptoms like nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, loss of smell, postnasal drip, and facial pain or pressure.

While surgery is an option for removing nasal polyps, many people want to avoid surgery if possible. The good news is there are several effective non-surgical options for treating nasal polyps and preventing their recurrence.

What Causes Nasal Polyps?

The exact cause of nasal polyps is not known, but they often form as a result of chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation triggers an overgrowth of the lining of the sinuses or nasal cavity. Some potential causes and risk factors for developing nasal polyps include:

  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Allergies, particularly allergic rhinitis
  • Asthma
  • Aspirin sensitivity
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Immune disorders
  • Exposure to environmental irritants

When the linings of the sinuses or nasal cavity get chronically inflamed, fluid builds up and causes swelling. Over time, this swelling can form into nasal polyps.

Medical Treatments for Nasal Polyps

If you have been diagnosed with nasal polyps by your doctor, there are several medical treatment options that can help shrink or eliminate nasal polyps without surgery. Some of the most common medical treatments for nasal polyps include:

Nasal Steroid Sprays

Nasal steroid sprays are often the first line treatment for nasal polyps. The steroids help reduce inflammation, which helps shrink the size of the polyps over time. Nasal steroid sprays are very effective at shrinking or eliminating small to medium sized nasal polyps.

Some common nasal steroid sprays that may be prescribed include:

  • Fluticasone (Flonase)
  • Mometasone (Nasonex)
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
  • Budesonide (Rhinocort)
  • Ciclesonide (Omnaris)

It can take several weeks or longer of continued use for steroid nasal sprays to reach their full effect. Make sure to use them as directed by your doctor. Using a nasal spray alone may shrink polyps significantly, though combining it with other treatments often gives the best results.

Oral Steroids

For more severe cases of nasal polyps, a short course of oral steroids may be prescribed. Oral steroids like prednisone are powerful anti-inflammatories that can help shrink the size of nasal polyps. However, oral steroids can’t be used long-term due to their potential for side effects.

Oral steroid use needs to be closely monitored by a doctor, but a typical treatment regimen may involve a 10-14 day course of steroids. This can rapidly shrink the size of polyps, though they are likely to regrow once steroid treatment is stopped unless other treatments are used.

Other Medications

Other types of medications may also be used to treat nasal polyps, often in combination with steroids. These include:

  • Antibiotics to treat any bacterial infection contributing to inflammation.
  • Antihistamines and decongestants to reduce mucus production and drainage.
  • Leukotriene modifiers like montelukast (Singulair) to reduce inflammation.
  • Nasal rinses with saline to clear excess mucus and reduce inflammation.

Allergy Medications

Since allergies are a common cause of nasal polyps, treating allergies with antihistamines, decongestants, nasal sprays, and allergy shots can be helpful. Identifying and avoiding allergy triggers can also reduce chronic inflammation that contributes to polyps.

Home Remedies and Lifestyle Changes

In addition to medical treatments prescribed by a doctor, there are several natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can complement your treatment plan:

Salt Water Rinses

Regular use of a saline nasal rinse can help clear mucus, reduce inflammation, and flush out allergens and irritants. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of iodide-free salt in 8 ounces of warm distilled water. Use a bulb syringe or neti pot to rinse the nasal cavity 1-2 times per day.

Nasal Strips and Dilators

Adhesive nasal strips or nasal dilators can help open the nasal passages and improve air flow. This can temporarily relieve nasal congestion and related symptoms caused by nasal polyps.

Avoid Irritants

Avoid substances that can irritate the lining of the nose and increase swelling. These include cigarette smoke, air pollution, dust, and chemicals like cleaning products.

Use a Humidifier

Keeping the air in your home or office humidified can help ease congestion. This adds moisture to the air and may reduce swelling in the nasal passages caused by dried-out, inflamed sinuses.

Manage Allergies

Take medications as prescribed to control allergy symptoms and avoid known allergy triggers. Keeping allergies well-managed can help prevent chronic inflammation that contributes to polyps.

Take Anti-Inflammatory Supplements

Certain vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds have natural anti-inflammatory effects. These include curcumin, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, quercetin, and bromelain. Taking anti-inflammatory supplements can reduce swelling and polyp regrowth.

Use a Neti Pot

Rinsing the nasal cavity with a neti pot and saline solution can remove excess mucus. It also reduces inflammation and flushes out allergens, bacteria, and other unwanted substances.

Eat Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Fill your diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and oily fish. These foods contain nutrients and compounds that fight inflammation. Limit sugar, fried foods, processed carbs, and excess red meat.

Precautions with At-Home Treatment

While at-home treatments can be very helpful, it’s important not to attempt overly aggressive methods. Things to avoid include:

  • Picking at nasal polyps
  • Using OTC nasal sprays for more than 3 days
  • Dangerous nasal rinses like hydrogen peroxide
  • Taking supplements without medical guidance

Stick to natural remedies that are supported by research and follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations. Seek immediate medical care if you experience any severe symptoms or side effects.

When to Consider Surgery

While not ideal, surgery may become necessary if nasal polyps are very large or resistant to other treatments. Surgery is also sometimes needed to rule out cancer or other serious conditions.

The most common surgical options include:

  • Polypectomy – Removal of polyps with special tools.
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery – More extensive surgery to remove polyps and correct structural issues allowing regrowth.

Surgery is often only a temporary solution since nasal polyps can recur. Continuing with medical treatments and lifestyle changes is important for maintaining results after surgery.

Long Term Management

Since nasal polyps tend to recur, ongoing management is needed after initial treatment. Long term strategies include:

  • Using steroid nasal sprays as prescribed to prevent regrowth
  • Keeping up with allergy treatments and avoiding triggers
  • Rinsing nasal passages daily with saline solution
  • Taking anti-inflammatory supplements
  • Eating an anti-inflammatory diet
  • Using a humidifier during dry weather
  • Avoiding irritants like cigarette smoke
  • Getting regular check-ups to monitor for regrowth

Completing any full course of medications prescribed by your doctor is important as well. Long term management can help keep nasal polyps eliminated or minimized after successful treatment.

When to See a Doctor

It’s important to see an ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor if you notice symptoms of nasal polyps. Chronic untreated polyps can lead to worsened breathing obstruction, loss of smell, and repeated sinus infections.

See a doctor right away if you experience:

  • Difficulty breathing through your nose
  • Decreased or lost sense of smell
  • Pain or pressure in your face
  • Runny nose, postnasal drip
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Frequent sinus infections

An ENT specialist can confirm if you have nasal polyps and prescribe appropriate treatment. Left untreated, polyps often continue to enlarge over time leading to worse symptoms.


Nasal polyps can cause uncomfortable or severe symptoms, but there are many effective treatment options available. While nasal polyps can be challenging to treat, most people can successfully shrink or eliminate them through medical therapy and natural remedies.

A combination approach of steroid nasal sprays, oral steroids, saline rinses, anti-inflammatory supplements, and lifestyle changes offer the best chance of long-term relief. Though surgery is sometimes necessary, non-surgical management is often successful at combating nasal polyps permanently.

Working closely with your ENT doctor to find the right treatment plan is key. With consistent treatment and diligent self-care, it’s often possible to get rid of nasal polyps permanently without surgery.