Nasal foreign body

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Nasal foreign body
The medial side of the nasal cavity
SpecialtyENT surgery
SymptomsBad smelling discharge from one side of the nose[1]
ComplicationsBleeding, infection, aspiration[2]
Usual onset2 to 5 years old[2]
CausesPaper, small stones, beans, button batteries[1]
Risk factorsMental illness, developmental disabilities[2]
Diagnostic methodLooking in the nose[1]
Differential diagnosisSinusitis, nasal polyp[2]
MedicationPhenylephrine, procedural sedation[1][2]
FrequencyRelatively common[2]

Nasal foreign body (NFB) is a foreign body in the nose.[3] Symptoms may include bad smelling discharge from one side of the nose.[1] They occur more commonly on a person's right.[2] Complications can include bleeding, infection, and aspiration.[2]

Objects that are typically placed in the nose include paper, small stones, beans, and button batteries.[1] Risk factors include mental illness or developmental disabilities.[2] Diagnosis is usually by looking in the nose.[1] Occasionally medical imaging may be needed.[2]

Treatment is by removal.[1] This may be done with a nasal speculum and forceps or blunt curved probe.[1] Having a parent seal their mouth over their child's mouth while blowing may be effective.[2] Placing phenylephrine in the nose may help as may procedural sedation.[1][2] Usually removal is not immediately required, except in the case of batteries or if a magnet is placed in each nostril.[2]

Nasal foreign bodies are relatively common.[2] They most commonly occur in children 2 to 5 years old.[2] It occurs more commonly in boys than girls.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "Nasal Foreign Bodies - Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Archived from the original on 20 February 2022. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 Baranowski, K; Al Aaraj, MS; Sinha, V (January 2022). "Nasal Foreign Body". PMID 29083647. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. "PEM Playbook - Foreign Bodies in the Head and Neck". - Emergency Medicine Education. 30 March 2018. Archived from the original on 24 November 2020. Retrieved 4 April 2022.

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