Cystic fibrosis is a complex health condition that affects both adults and children. If you are caring for a child who has cystic fibrosis, it is important to become familiar with not only the treatment necessary to fight this life threatening disease, but also the treatment needed for secondary health complications that may develop. In many children with cystic fibrosis, the complications with nasal polyps are quite common but typically overlooked early in treatment protocol.
Nasal polyps develop in adults and children who do not have cystic fibrosis but in children with CF, the risk for developing nasal polyps may be far greater. As polyps develop, they arise out of membranes that typically secrete mucous and, when exacerbated by environmental toxins or infection, can lead to abnormal growth of a polyp. At full size, your child's nasal polyps may be as big as a grape or plump raisin and this will impair normal breathing.
Infection is one of the greatest health risks associated with nasal polyps in children with cystic fibrosis. Because the polyps will prevent mucous from draining normally from your child's sinuses and nasal passages, infection can develop and it is for this reason that early diagnosis and treatment is necessary. In addition, keeping your child on a healthy eating plan will boost the flow of sinus fluids, mucous, and help to keep immunity at an optimal level.
For children who have cystic fibrosis, immediate removal of nasal polyps, in a doctor's office, is typically recommended. While this procedure can be somewhat painful, treatment is necessary to protect your child's health. Without proper treatment, the complications of CF can become worsened should infection begin to develop and impair the flow of oxygen and fluids in the lungs.
To mitigate the risk for nasal polyps in children with cystic fibrosis, a cleaning air filtration system in the home is typically recommended along with the use of mouth and nose protection when venturing outdoors. By reducing the number of toxins your child is exposed to, you can reduce the risk for nasal polyp development and ultimately this may help to minimize the risk for infection. The key to controlling this health issue lies in utilizing caution when outdoors, protecting the nasal passages as much as possible indoors, and regularly consulting with an ENT specialist to ensure your child gets early diagnosis when complication arises.
Sources: Harvard Medical School Guide to Healing Your Sinuses, by Ralph Metson