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What Are the Treatment Options for Nasal Polyps?

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My brother has nasal polyps, it makes breathing hard for him. The doctor recommended getting surgery, but he's not comfortable doing that. He has concerns about the procedure and recovery. What are his options?

One of the first things to do is to get a second opinion from an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) physician. This can be very helpful to decide the safest and most effective treatment options for chronic nasal polyps. There may be other reasonable options besides surgery. A medical treatment with topical nasal steroids and nasal decongestants could be helpful. This would require taking these medications for longer periods of time. In some cases, oral steroids can be used to treat nasal polyps. This is not a great option because of potential side effects.

More recently, a biologic therapy called Dupixent (dupilumab) has become available. This is for patients with chronic nasal polyps. It can effectively treat nasal polyps that are not well controlled with other medicines. It can reduce the need for surgery and/or oral steroids. Dupixent is given by an injection every other week, long-term. Side effects include injection site reactions and eye redness, swelling, and itching.

I encourage your brother to see another ENT and an allergist. They will discuss further diagnostic workups and develop the most effective treatment plan.

Nasal Allergy (Rhinitis), Treatment
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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