Nasal Foreign Body

A nasal foreign body is any object inserted inside the nose. Small children often insert small objects in the nose such as beads, coins, and small toys. Older children and adults may also accidentally get an object stuck inside the nose. Having a foreign body in the nose can cause serious medical problems. It may cause trouble breathing. If the object is swallowed and obstructs the esophagus, it can cause difficulty swallowing. A nasal foreign body often causes bleeding of the nose. Depending on the type of object, irritation in the nose may also occur. This can be more serious with certain objects, such as button batteries, magnets, and wooden objects. A foreign body may also cause thick, yellowish, or bad smelling drainage from the nose, as well as pain in the nose and face. These problems can be signs of infection. Nasal foreign bodies require immediate evaluation by a medical professional.


  • Do not try to remove the object without getting medical advice. Trying to grab the object may push it deeper and make it more difficult to remove.

  • Breathe through the mouth until you can see your caregiver. This helps prevent inhalation of the object.

  • Keep small objects out of reach of young children.

  • Tell your child not to put objects into his or her nose. Tell your child to get help from an adult right away if it happens again.


  • There is any trouble breathing.

  • There is sudden difficulty swallowing, increased drooling, or new chest pain.

  • There is any bleeding from the nose.

  • The nose continues to drain. An object may still be in the nose.

  • A fever, earache, headache, pain in the cheeks or around the eyes, or yellow-green nasal discharge develops. These are signs of a possible sinus infection or ear infection from obstruction of the normal nasal airway.


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.