Tuesday May 12, 2015

British man sneezes out toy dart stuck up his nose for four decades

Steve Easton had the suction tip of a toy dart lodged in his nasal cavity for 44 years.

Steve Easton had the suction tip of a toy dart lodged in his nasal cavity for 44 years. (Courtesy: Steve Easton)

Listen 4:15

It was a sneeze more than 40 years in the making.

Steve Easton was playing a video game last week when he got a tickle up his nose. 

"I had a sneezing fit. It started off quite normally and then it got quite uncomfortable. And then this object popped out of my left nostril," Easton tells Carol Off, host of CBC Radio's As It Happen. "It was a very strange sensation. Not to mention surprising!"

Surprising because the object turned out to be the suction tip of a toy dart, about the size of a penny. And how did that end up up his nose? "I really didn't know," Easton says with a chuckle, adding that at least it wasn't the whole dart.

But after the 51-year-old charity shop worker in Camberley, England, called his parents, he started to piece together what must have happened ... which led to another surprise. Because he now believes the suction tip was lodged in his nasal cavity for more than 40 years. 

"They said they'd thought I'd swallowed this thing because I'd chewed on one when I was seven years old," he explains. Easton's worried parents took him to the hospital, but a scan of his stomach turned up nothing. "Somehow it got forced up into my nasal cavity, so they were looking in the wrong place."

He says his mother always wondered ... and worried ... what happened to the missing suction tip.  

Easton says the suction tip appears to have had no impact on his health during the 40-plus years it was stuck in his nasal cavity. 

"I don't feel any different [for it now being out]. Not even slightly." He says he has spoken to his doctor, who was surprised, but told him not to worry.

"It is quite common for people to get things lodged in their nasal cavities. What is unusual is the length of time in my particular case."

Easton says he has been taken aback by all the media attention -- including the cheesy headlines. 

"I think I'm going to have to get used to being called a sucker for the next three months," he says with a chuckle. "And there's some great [online] comments underneath as well [wondering if] a model airplane will fall out of my nose."

But Easton says he's confident there's nothing else hidden up there. "There's only a certain amount of room. So I think that's it. That's the lot."