What is object in the nose?

Object in the Nose

Object in the nose: Overview

An object in the nose can irritate the inside of the nose (mucous membranes) and cause infection or nosebleeds. You may get a stuffy nose, and thick fluid may come out of your nose. Some objects cause more problems than others. Batteries can release chemicals that cause damage. Beans and other foods can expand and become hard to remove.

Your nose may be stuffy, slightly tender, and swollen after the object has been removed. These symptoms should improve within a day or two.

Disc battery in the nose: Why is it important to remove it quickly?

A disc battery in the nose must be removed immediately. The moist tissue in the nose can cause the battery to release strong chemicals (alkali) quickly, often in less than 1 hour. This can cause serious damage to the sensitive mucous membranes lining the nose.

If you or your child has a disc battery in the nose, do not use nose drops or sprays of any type. This can cause the battery to corrode more quickly.

You may try to remove the disc battery yourself. But if you are not able to remove it, contact your doctor immediately. If you are not able to contact your doctor, go to the nearest hospital emergency department.

Disc batteries are found in toys, watches, hearing aids, cameras, calculators, and some remote-controlled devices. They are also called button cell batteries. These batteries are small, usually less than 0.5 in. (1.3 cm) across, and can be easily inserted into the nose.

Caring for yourself after removing an object from the nose

Some tenderness and nasal stuffiness are common after removing an object from the nose. Home treatment will often relieve a tender, stuffy nose and make breathing easier.

  • Drink extra fluids for 2 to 3 days to keep mucus thin.
  • Breathe moist air from a humidifier, hot shower, or sink filled with hot water. Follow the directions for cleaning the humidifier.
  • Increase the humidity in your home, especially in the bedroom.
  • Use a saline nasal spray to help loosen mucus.
  • Check the back of your throat for postnasal drip. If streaks of mucus appear, gargle with warm water to prevent a sore throat.
  • Keep your head raised at night by sleeping on an extra pillow. This will decrease nasal stuffiness.
  • If your nose is still stuffy, you can try a decongestant or a steroid nasal spray.

    Be careful with these medicines. They may not be safe for young children or for people who have certain health problems, so check the label first. If you do use these medicines, always follow the directions about how much to use based on age and weight. Avoid products that contain antihistamines, which dry the nasal tissue.

Object in the nose: When to call

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have signs of an infection in the nose, such as
    • Increased yellow, green, or brown drainage.
    • A fever.
    • Redness or swelling of your nose.
    • Bad-smelling discharge from the nose.
  • You have a fever with a stiff neck or a severe headache.
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • Your nose begins to bleed.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You think you still have something in your nose.
  • You do not get better as expected.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.

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