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Foreign Body, Nose (cont.)

Foreign Body in the Nose Self-Care at Home

Patient Comments

It is not advisable for anyone to stick anything in the nose while attempting to remove an object in the nose. A person may complicate matters by pushing the object farther back into the throat and possibly cause the affected person to choke or injure the surrounding tissue. These techniques can be tried safely at home to remove the object.

  • Blowing the nose will potentially dislodge the object and is more likely to succeed if the uninvolved nostril is closed during such attempts. Hold the unaffected nostril closed by pressing a finger against the side of the nose.
  • A sneeze will actually produce much more force and is an alternative way to push the object forward and out of the nose. Again, it is more effective if the uninvolved nostril is closed.

Many people with foreign bodies in the nose are too young to cooperate with these techniques. A parent or caregiver can attempt to remove the object by sealing their mouth over the child's mouth and closing the unaffected nostril with their fingers. Blowing a quick puff of air into the child's mouth has frequently resulted in the object coming out the nostril onto the caregiver's cheek. This should usually only be attempted under the supervision of a medical professional.

  • The child will reflexively protect their lungs, but one should not deliver a large, forceful breath. The potential for spread of infection between the child and caregiver should be considered because there may be contact with the child's nasal secretions, blood, or both during this maneuver. It is recommended that this technique be performed under the supervision of a medical professional.

Nasal bleeding is a commonly associated symptom of a foreign object in the nose. Some episodes of bleeding will stop on their own. Gently placing a towel over the end of the nose is a safe way to contain the associated mess as long as the person can breathe easily. If the bleeding does not stop within 5 minutes, seek medical advice.

  • Although the most common recommendation for nasal bleeding (nosebleed) is to pinch the soft part of the nose for 10-15 minutes, this technique may not be appropriate depending on the circumstances and object involved.
  • The common home remedy of placing an ice pack behind the affected person's neck is not likely to be effective. Placing a cool compress on the nose itself may occasionally decrease bleeding and has the added benefit of reducing swelling, which may aid in the eventual removal of the object.
  • Placing ice or other extremely cold material directly on the tip of the nose is not recommended.

If there is any question about objects in the nose and medical attention is sought, the person should not be given anything to eat or drink until approved by a doctor. The reason for this inconvenience is that some objects are difficult to remove. Sedation is occasionally needed and is done in a medical facility. Sedation works best and has a lower risk for complications if the person has an empty stomach.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Foreign Body in the Nose:

Foreign in the Nose - Experience

Please share your or someone you knows experience with a foreign object in the nose.

Foreign in the Nose - Cause

What object did you or someone you know became lodged in the nose?

Foreign in the Nose - Self Care at Home

How were you able to remove the object from yours, or someone else's nose?

Foreign in the Nose - Medical Treatment

What was the medical treatment for your case of a foreign object in the nose?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Foreign Body Removal, Nose »

Nasal foreign bodies that require removal are relatively common among pediatric patients and may also be seen in adult patients, most often those with psychiatric disease or developmental delay.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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