This site is intended for healthcare professionals

Go to /sign-in page

You can view 5 more pages before signing in


Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

  • young children aged 1 - 4 years may put foreign bodies up one or both nostrils
  • rarely, in an adult, nasal obstruction may be caused by a rhinolith which consists of layers of calcium and magnesium salts formed around a central nucleus - often a foreign body.
  • common nasal foreign bodies include
    • beads, buttons, toy parts, pebbles, candle wax, food, paper, cloth, and button batteries (1)
  • common sites where nasal foreign bodies tend to get lodged are: (1)
    • on the floor of the nasal passage, just below the inferior turbinate
    • in the upper nasal fossa anterior to the middle turbinate
  • clinical features include:
    • foul-smelling nasal discharge (1)
    • discharge may occasionally blood stained
    • excoriation around the nostril
  • management (1)
    • seek expert advice
    • 0.5% phenylephrine can be used to reduce mucosal edema before removal of foreign body
    • topical lidocaine can be applied as an analgesic
    • techniques include removal with direct visualization using
      • forceps
      • curved hooks
      • cerumen loops
      • suction catheters
  • complications
    • there is danger of injury from clumsy attempts at removal by an unskilled person
    • a nasal foreign body carries the danger of inhalation into the lungs and subsequent formation of a lung abscess
    • there may be a local spread of infection to cause a sinusitis or meningitis.


Related pages

Create an account to add page annotations

Add information to this page that would be handy to have on hand during a consultation, such as a web address or phone number. This information will always be displayed when you visit this page

The content herein is provided for informational purposes and does not replace the need to apply professional clinical judgement when diagnosing or treating any medical condition. A licensed medical practitioner should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions.


Copyright 2024 Oxbridge Solutions Limited, a subsidiary of OmniaMed Communications Limited. All rights reserved. Any distribution or duplication of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited. Oxbridge Solutions receives funding from advertising but maintains editorial independence.