Understanding a Potential Cause of Nasal Congestion
(Family Features) Nasal congestion, due to colds or seasonal allergies, affects almost everyone at some point. This year, with both seasonal allergies and COVID-19 running rampant, it may be especially difficult to pinpoint what’s causing congestion. For those with chronic nasal congestion that lasts three months or longer, it may be something else: nasal polyps.
Nasal polyps affect up to an estimated 10 million Americans. Nasal polyps are often associated with respiratory diseases such as allergies and asthma, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. They are non-cancerous growths high and deep in the nose caused by chronic inflammation. Blocked nasal passages can cause persistent congestion, runny nose and recurrent sinus infections.
Brian, a 33-year-old musician, suffered from allergies and sinus infections for years before being diagnosed with nasal polyps and later treated with a different kind of nasal spray called XHANCE® (fluticasone propionate).
“Before treatment, I couldn’t sleep, I was stuffy all day and the constant pressure gave me headaches,” he said.
Nasal congestion is not just a nuisance for people like Brian. According to a Harris On Demand survey conducted in partnership with Optinose, the makers of XHANCE, nearly 1 in 4 Americans with chronic nasal congestion experience it almost every day and 85% report it impacts daily life, including:
- The ability to sleep (60%), smell or properly taste food (48%) or enjoy outdoor activities (33%)
- One-third feel fatigued and more than half experience headaches
- Many feel annoyed (54%), frustrated (46%) or tired (45%)
- Half are uncertain if their symptoms are due to nasal congestion worsening or COVID-19
- More than half are not aware nasal polyps could be the cause of their symptoms
- Fewer than half have seen a specialist (an allergist or ear, nose and throat doctor) to look deeper at the problem.
“Nasal polyps are common, but they are largely underdiagnosed,” said Neal Jain, M.D., a board-certified allergist and immunologist. “If someone is experiencing persistent nasal congestion and he or she has tried conventional intranasal steroid sprays but continues to have symptoms, that person should see a specialist to take a deeper look. It could be nasal polyps, which may require a different kind of solution.”
An option like XHANCE, available by prescription, is the only FDA-approved medication that uses an exhalation delivery system to treat nasal polyps. You use your own breath to carry the medicine high and deep into the nose to reach and treat the nasal polyps where they originate. It can reduce the size of polyps and improve symptoms over time with regular use. Because you blow into it – you don’t sniff – it helps keep the medicine from dripping down into the throat.
“I’m relieved knowing there is something that works and I don’t have to be congested all the time,” Brian said.
To learn more about nasal polyps, visit XHANCE.com or talk to your doctor.
Photo courtesy of Adobe Stock
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Do not use XHANCE if you are allergic to fluticasone propionate or any of the ingredients in XHANCE. Get emergency medical care if you get any of these signs of a serious allergic reaction: rash; hives; swelling of your face, mouth and tongue; breathing problems; or low blood pressure.
- Tell your health care provider about all your medical conditions and medications that you take. It is especially important to mention if you take antifungal or anti-HIV medicines as they may interact with XHANCE.
- XHANCE can cause nasal problems such as nosebleeds, crusting, sores, hole in the septum and slow wound healing.
- XHANCE can cause eye problems including glaucoma and cataracts. You should have regular eye exams when using XHANCE.
- XHANCE may increase the risk of infections and can make certain infections worse. Avoid contact with people who have a contagious disease such as chickenpox or measles while using XHANCE.
- XHANCE can cause reduced production of steroid hormones by your adrenal gland, resulting in tiredness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, and low blood pressure.
- XHANCE can weaken bones (osteoporosis).
- Other side effects may include redness, pain or swelling of the nose or throat; thrush (fungal infection of the nose and throat); nasal congestion; sinus infection; and headache.
These are not all the side effects of XHANCE. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
XHANCE is a prescription medicine used to treat nasal polyps in adults.