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A magnetic nasal attraction
  1. V M M Ward,
  2. D Selvadurai
  1. Ear, Nose, and Throat Department, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW
  1. Miss Ward

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A 12 year old girl presented to the ear, nose, and throat department with a history of foreign bodies in both nostrils. The young girl had attempted to wear magnetic earrings as nose rings. Unfortunately both magnets became polarised and attracted across the septum (see fig 1).

We present a simple and easy solution for removal under local anaesthesia with a mixture of lignocaine and phenylephrine in an accident and emergency setting. It is possible to polarise a wax hook, which has magnetic properties, by rubbing it with another instrument (wax hook or Jobson horn). One of the magnets was then attracted away from the septum by the polarised wax hook, thus releasing the magnetic attraction of the opposing magnet.

They were successfully removed without any significant trauma to the septum. The underlying mucosa, however, was indurated due to local pressure. The most common complication of foreign bodies is septal perforation, thus identification and removal of the offending foreign body is paramount to its prevention.

Figure 1

Radiograph showing the magnets on either side of the septum.

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