Who Treats Nasal Polyps?

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Nasal polyps are soft growths that appear inside your nose. They are noncancerous but can be difficult to treat. Medications and surgery are the most common treatment options. However, nasal polyps can grow back. Finding the right healthcare provider to help you is important.

Physician with a patient

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Primary Care Physician  

The first healthcare provider you will probably see is your primary care physician. You should be able to make a regular appointment to see them to discuss your symptoms. A primary care physician can diagnose nasal polyps and recommend referrals.

What to Expect During Your Visit 

During the appointment, your healthcare provider will collect information about your health to determine the cause of your condition and how to treat it.

The healthcare provider will:

  • Ask about your medical history.
  • Gather information about your symptoms.
  • Do a physical exam.
  • Look at the inside of your nose.
  • Answer your questions.

Your healthcare provider may decide to order additional tests or refer you to a specialist who can better help you. In some cases, your healthcare provider may be able to diagnose and treat nasal polyps without sending you to another specialist.

Otolaryngologist

Another name for an otolaryngologist is an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician. Otolaryngologists specialize in treating conditions that affect the nose, such as nasal polyps. They receive additional training for years to work as a specialist.

Some insurance companies will not cover the cost of your appointments without a referral. Talk to your healthcare provider and insurance company to find out if this is a necessary requirement.

What to Expect During Your Visit 

During a visit, an ear, nose, and throat physician will gather some of the same information, such as your medical history and symptoms, that your healthcare provider asked.

An otolaryngologist may also:

  • Do a thorough exam of your nose, throat, and ears.
  • Use a nasal endoscope (small tube with a camera) to do a nasal endoscopy.
  • Gather a small sample of your nasal tissues for a biopsy.
  • Order imaging such as MRI or CT scans.
  • Order blood tests.
  • Check for cystic fibrosis with a sweat test.

Your otolaryngologist will use the information above to diagnose nasal polyps or determine you have another medical condition. Next, they will work with you to create a treatment plan.

Treatment usually includes:

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications
  • Endoscopic sinus surgery to remove the nasal polyps

An otolaryngologist has the necessary training to do an endoscopic sinus surgery, so you may not need to see another surgeon.

Allergist  

Your healthcare provider may recommend that you seen an allergist because sometimes allergies can cause nasal polyps. They specialize in treating allergies and immune system problems.

Another name for an allergist is an immunologist.

Your medical insurance may need a referral from your healthcare provider before you can see an allergist. Some insurance companies require referrals prior to allowing a patient to see a specialist.

What to Expect During Your Visit 

During an appointment, an allergist will try to determine if you are allergic to any substances that may be causing your nasal polyps. They can also answer your questions and recommend treatment plans. They will begin the visit by checking your medical history and symptoms.

An allergist may also order:

  • Blood tests
  • Skin tests
  • Patch tests
  • Nasal smears
  • Lung function tests

Treatment recommendations may include:

  • Avoiding the allergy triggers
  • Elimination diets
  • Medications
  • Immunotherapy

An allergist can help figure out what is causing nasal polyps and suggest different ways to treat them.

A Word From Verywell

Finding a healthcare provider who understands your medical condition is important for management and recovery. Nasal polyps can return after treatment, so it is essential to work with a healthcare provider who is willing to listen and help on a long-term basis.

If your healthcare provider does not know enough about nasal polyps to help you, then ask for a referral. You may need to see an otolaryngologist and an allergist to confirm your diagnosis and get treatment.

Consider bringing a friend or loved one with you when you visit a healthcare provider. They can help you by taking notes and asking questions, so you have support that reduces stress.

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3 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Nasal polyps.

  2. American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. What’s an ENT?

  3. American Board of Allergy and Immunology. Allergy and Immunology.