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Man, 35, finds nose ring lost IN HIS LUNG five years ago

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A Cincinnati man has rediscovered the nose ring he lost five years ago – held in his lung.

Joey Lykins, 35, was rushed to the emergency room late last month with a severe cough and a feeling that ‘something was blocking [his] airways’.

Doctors feared these were warning signs of pneumonia, but X-rays showed the gardener had a 0.6-inch — which he had carried in his septum — embedded in the upper left lobe of his lung.

Lykins thinks he inhaled the piece of metal while sleeping and says he woke up one morning five years ago to find it was missing and after he “turned my bedroom upside down” decided it was lost and bought another .

There are several anecdotal reports of people swallowing or inhaling nose piercings online, often after they have been detached. Experts say this is normally “safe,” but jewelry that is larger, pointed or has a rough texture can get stuck or tear tissue.

Joey Lykins, 35, who lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, was shocked when doctors showed him the above scan that revealed the nose ring in his lungs. He was taken to the emergency room after developing a severe cough that doctors thought was pneumonia

Lykins is pictured above with a septal retainer, the same one that was lost.  He said after he disappeared he went out and bought another one

He is pictured at Christ's Hospital in Cincinnati before the bronchoscopy to remove it was performed

Lykins (pictured above with another septum piercing and in hospital) thinks he inhaled the septum retainer while sleeping. He said he woke up one morning five years ago to find he was missing and, after “turning his room upside down,” bought another.

The septum retainer — which the groundskeeper previously wore for three to four years — is now kept as a souvenir.  It is shown above after it is deleted

The septum retainer — which the groundskeeper previously wore for three to four years — is now kept as a souvenir. It is shown above after it is deleted

The lost septal retainer is shown above after being removed from the lungs

The septum holder shown during surgery

Lykins said his wife Jennifer, 41, was “stunned” by the discovery. He is a big fan of piercings and has about 12 on his body

Lykins suggested he might have swallowed the jewel — which he’d been wearing for three to four years beforehand — during his sleep.

Knocking on the nose can loosen jewelry and cause it to “bulge out” in one nostril. This can then be inhaled through the nasal cavity or dropped into the mouth where it can be swallowed or inhaled.

What are the risks of nose piercings?

Doctors warn that nose rings pose several risks to the body. These are:

  • Allergic reaction: In some cases, people may be allergic to some of the jewelry, such as Nikel;
  • Skin infections: The crack created before the piercing can become infected, especially if the equipment used has not been properly sanitized. This can cause redness, pain, swelling and a pus-like discharge. In severe cases, it can also lead to scarring;
  • Breathe in: In some cases the jewelry can be inhaled. This can put you at risk of getting caught in the throat or tearing tissue;
  • blood-borne disease: If the equipment used is contaminated, it can give a patient hepatitis;
  • Trauma: Jewelry can get stuck or tear out, damage surrounding tissue and potentially cause someone to stitch.

Source: Mayo Clinic

Doctors weren’t sure why the jewelry had caused the cough now instead of five years ago, although this could be because the scar tissue around it had grown too large or it had moved slightly in the lung.

When Lykins first got the scans, he exclaimed, “Are you kidding me? That’s what I’ve been looking for!’

Three days after the scan at The Christ Hospital, in Cincinnati, he returned to remove the piercing, which was surrounded by scar tissue.

Doctors put him under anesthesia and performed a bronchoscopy, a procedure normally used to diagnose an infection, clear blockages, or remove objects from the lungs.

In the procedure, a pipe is slowly passed down the patient’s throat and into the affected lung.

It can then be clipped to the object and then gently pulled back up to remove it.

Lykins said he kept the metal bar — which cost about $8 — as a souvenir.

“I’m glad it didn’t pierce my lung,” he said.

“I never had a problem with it, I coughed but I never thought too much about it.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I never thought it was. I’ve never heard of it.’

Lykins – who has 12 piercings – said when he told his wife Jennifer, 41, about the scan that she was “stunned” and insisted on seeing the X-rays.

He had no complications from the surgery.

Lykins is not the first person to suffer from this bizarre phenomenon.

A medical report from the American College of Chest Physicians 2020 records a case where a 26-year-old woman’s nose ring got stuck in the tube leading to her right lung.

The woman said she was loosening the ring when she suddenly sneezed and sucked it into her windpipe.

The above shows the septal retainer in the lungs and what it looked like after it was removed

The above shows the septal retainer in the lungs and what it looked like after it was removed

Lykins pictured with wife Jennifer, 41, at their Cincinnati, Ohio home

Lykins pictured with wife Jennifer, 41, at their Cincinnati, Ohio home

X-rays revealed it had become lodged in her right bronchus — the tube that led to her lung. It was removed using a bronchoscopy.

Dr Niket Sonpal, a physician at Touro College in New York, previously told the New York-based beauty publication byrdie local publication that it is normally safe to swallow nose jewelry unless it has a pointed end or a rough texture.

“Chances are these types of jewelry will pass through the digestive system without any problems,” he said, “but the risk of damaging the tissue of the internal organ they are supposed to travel through is greater.”

He warned that swallowing a barbell was more risky because it was long and had a pointed edge at one end, which can damage tissue.

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