Polyps are abnormal tissue growths that can form on any body part that has mucus membranes. Polyps can be flat or they can project from the tissue by a stalk (pedunculated).
Colon polyps are the most common type of polyp. Other common types of polyps include:
- Stomach (gastric polyp)
- Ear (aural polyp)
- Throat and vocal folds (larynx)
Certain types of polyps have the potential to become cancerous.
Some types of polyps may not need treatment and may go away on their own.
Nasal polyps affecting the nose and sinuses are usually not cancerous. There are no home remedies proven to entirely get rid of nasal polyps naturally but natural remedies may be used to improve symptoms and reduce discomfort caused by nasal polyps, such as:
- Use a humidifier or inhale steam
- Bromelain supplementation
- Use a neti pot to irrigate the sinuses
- Take probiotic supplements and eat probiotic-rich foods to keep the immune system healthy
- Avoid alcohol
Other polyps carry a risk of becoming cancerous and need to be removed. Surgical removal of polys (polypectomy) is the most common treatment for polyps that cause symptoms or that have the potential to be cancerous.
Depending on the location and type of polyp, different or additional treatments may be indicated:
- Ear (aural polyps)
- Avoiding water in the ear
- Steroid medicines
- Antibiotic ear drops
- Nasal polyps
- Nasal steroids or corticosteroid treatments
- Cervical and uterine polyps
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists
- Throat and vocal fold (larynx) polyps
What Are Symptoms of Polyps?
Symptoms of polyps depend on their location. Polyps often have no symptoms.
When symptoms of colon polyps occur, they may include:
When symptoms of stomach (gastric) polyps occur, they may include:
Symptoms of ear (aural) polyps may include:
- Bloody drainage from the ear
- Hearing loss
Symptoms of nasal polyps may include:
- Feelings of fullness or pressure in the face
- Stuffy nose
- Problems with sense of smell
Symptoms of cervical and uterine polyps may include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Bleeding between periods
- Vaginal discharge with foul odor (caused by infection)
- Bleeding after intercourse
- Bleeding after menopause
Symptoms of polyps in the throat and vocal folds (larynx) include:
How Are Polyps Diagnosed?
Polyps are diagnosed with physical examination of the affected area, and different types of tests may be used depending on where the polyps are located in the body.
Imaging tests may be used to diagnose polyps, such as:
- Computerized tomography (CT)
- Barium X-ray
A tissue sample (biopsy) may be taken of a polyp to determine if it is cancerous.
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