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Objects in nose.

Objects in nose.
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Objects in the nose

2-minute read

Children often like to experiment by placing items up their nose. If the objects are small and fit neatly into the nostrils, they can become stuck.

Such objects include:

  • beads
  • sweets
  • small toys or parts of toys
  • pieces of food.

An object in the nostrils might go undetected until symptoms develop, such as pain, redness or swelling in the nose. There may even be a smelly discharge from a nostril.

If you think a child has an object in their nose, take the child to see a doctor. If the object contains chemicals (like a battery) or is a bean (which can swell) you should go to the Emergency Department.

If you think that there is an object stuck in your nose, you could hold your finger over the other nostril then try to blow the object out. If that doesn’t work, then see a doctor.

Other than this, don’t try to remove the object yourself as you may cause damage or bleeding in the area.

Avoid sniffing to reduce the risk of breathing in the object. If you are in pain, get advice on the pain relief medicines you can take.

Inhaled objects

If an object is stuck in the nose, it can be accidentally breathed in. That could cause breathing difficulties, coughing or wheezing.

If an object becomes stuck in the air passages, go to the nearest emergency department. You should call triple zero (000) immediately and ask for an ambulance if:

  • you become too breathless to talk
  • you develop very rapid breathing, or have to put a lot of effort into breathing
  • you feel faint or as if you might pass out.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about object in your nose, why not use healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: November 2017

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