Health Information

Foreign Bodies in the Nose

Foreign bodies in the nose are most common in children under the age of 5 years.

Objects that are put into the child's nose are usually soft things. These would include, but are not limited to, tissue, clay and pieces of toys, or erasers and food. Sometimes, a foreign body may enter the nose while the child is trying to smell the object. Children often place objects in their noses because they are curious or are copying other children.

What are the symptoms of foreign bodies in the nose? 

The most common symptom of a foreign body in the nose is nasal drainage. The drainage appears only on the side of the nose with the object, and often has a bad odor. In some cases, the child may also have a bloody nose. Sometimes a whistling sound can be heard with breathing.

Treatment for foreign bodies in the nose 

Treatment of a foreign body in the nose involves prompt removal of the object by your child's physician. The following are some of the techniques that may be used by your child's physician to remove the object from the nose:

After removal of the object, your child's physician may prescribe nose drops, antibiotic ointments or oral antibiotics to treat any possible infection.

Reviewed by: Steven D. Handler, MD, MBE
Date: April 2009

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