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29 June 2005

Foreign objects in the nose

Children often push small objects up their noses. This section discusses how these objects can be removed.

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Children tend to push small objects up their noses. Adults sometimes pack bits of cotton into the nose nostril to stop bleeding. These often become lodged in the nose.

Suspect a foreign object if there is a foul-smelling green or yellow discharge from only one nostril. The nose may also be tender and swollen.

Home treatment

  • Do not attempt to inhale the object by forcefully breathing in. Breathe through the mouth.
  • Pinch the other nostril shut and try to gently blow the object out. Do not blow hard or repeatedly.
  • If the object is visible in the lower nostril, remove it with a blunt pair of tweezers. However, do not attempt this if a child is protesting as it may be pushed deeper into the nostril and cause further damage.
  • Spray a nasal decongestant in the affected nostril to reduce the swelling.

See your doctor if:

  • The object remains embedded.
  • A disc battery is stuck in the nose, even if removed successfully. Harmful chemicals can rapidly leak into the nose.
 
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