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nasal polyp

lump of tissue that protrudes into the nasal cavity and sometimes obstructs it. Polyps can form as the result of allergic conditions or of inflammation and infection. Allergic polyps are usually bright red because of their extensive network of blood vessels. These polyps are most common along the side and upper walls of the nose. Sometimes they arise in the sinus cavities and emerge into the nasal cavity. They may be treated with drugs (by spray or injection) or excised surgically, but usually they recur until the allergic source is eliminated. Inflammatory polyps result from infections and from injuries to the nose. They do not recur after removal. These polyps contain less fluid than allergic polyps do, but there is an abundance of white blood cells. Polyps can also sometimes arise from closely associated blood vessels that expand as a result of previous injuries to the nose or of high blood pressure.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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