What Are Nasal and Sinus Polyps?

Nasal polyps are soft, benign (noncancerous) growths of inflamed tissue that commonly occur in the nasal cavity or sinuses. These teardrop-shaped polyps often appear after chronic inflammation of the upper respiratory system.

Small nasal polyps often go unnoticed, but larger polyps can interfere with breathing and your sense of smell. Polyps can trap mucous, preventing it from draining through the nose, leading to frequent sinus infections. The polyps themselves aren’t painful, but they can cause sinus and headache pain.

Anyone can get nasal polyps, but they’re most often found in middle aged or older adults. Men are twice as likely to get nasal polyps than women.