Mysterious odour leads to shock find in young boy's nose

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

Doctors have made a shock discovery inside the nose of a teen who was suffering with breathing issues for about eight years.

The boy, 15, a resident of the US state of Texas, had experienced congestion for almost a decade but his parents told doctors he had no “facial trauma” or pain, according to his case in the JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery journal.

Doctors used a camera to look up the boy’s nose and found he had what's known as turbinate hypertrophy. Turbinate hypertrophy is when the small passageways in the nose are enlarged. 

He was given a nasal spray and medications before returning a year later.

A CT scan of a 15-year-old boy shows a BB gun pellet lodged in his nose.
A CT scan, 12 months after the boy originally saw doctors, revealed something lodged in his nose. Source: JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery

When he spoke with doctors on the return visit, a "pungent, foul odour filled the room” when he blew his nose.

"The patient reported that he did not feel he had bad breath, but he was embarrassed that every time he blew his nose there was a foul odour,” researchers wrote.

A CT scan was performed and something was found deep inside the boy’s nose.

It turns out a BB gun pellet was lodged inside. His parents told doctors he had been shot with one when he was about eight years old.

"The foreign body causes blockage of natural drainage pathways in the nose, so there is a buildup of mucus, inhaled debris and bacteria," researchers wrote.

It was hard to find too as over the years new tissue had grown over the pellet.

Doctor successfully removed the pellet and the boy said his breathing and smell returned to normal.

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