Nasal foreign bodies are commonly encountered in the emergency department, particularly among children and mentally retarded patients. The diagnosis should be entertained in any patient who presents with a persistent unilateral nasal discharge. Nasal foreign bodies are either inanimate or, less commonly, animate objects. Successful diagnosis and treatment of nasal foreign bodies depends on a careful examination of the nasal cavity. Because of the difficulty in extracting nasal foreign bodies and the lack of cooperation among these patients, general anesthesia should be considered if there is any question concerning the adequacy of nasal examination.