Nasal Myiasis : Maggots in Nose

Other Names:

  • Myiasis narium
  • Maggots in nose
  • Larvae in nose

Myiasis is the infestation of tissue with fly larvae, commonly referred to as maggots. Maggots infest nose, nasopharynx and paranasal sinuses causing extensive destruction and obvious deformity.

Etiology or Cause:
Flies especially of genus Chrysomyia – Chrysomia bezianna(other common species are Lucilia hominivora or Sacrophaga Georginia) are attracted by the foul smelling discharge emanating from case of atrophic rhinitis, syphilis, leprosy or infected wounds and lay eggs about 200 at a time, which within 24 hours hatch into larvae.

The predisposing factors for Nasal Myiasis are:

  • Poor nourishment with poor hygiene
  • Atrophic rhinitis
  • Leprosy in the nose
  • Diabetes with purulent sinus infections
  • Midline granulomatous lesions involving the nose
  • Malignancy involving the nose
  • Syphilitic disease involving the nose

Clinical features (Signs and Symptoms):

1st 3-4 days:

  • intense irritation, sneezing, lacrimation
  • headache
  • blood-stained discharge from nostrils
  • puffy eyelids and lips
  • epistaxis

3rd or 4th day:

  • maggots may crawl out of nose
  • foul smelling serosanguinous discharge
  • extensive destruction of nose, sinuses, soft tissue of face, palate and eyeball
  • fistulae may form in the palate or around the nose
  • death may occur from meningitis


  • Visible maggots should be picked up with forceps
  • Instillation of chloroform water/ether and oil (liquid paraffin) kills them
  • Nasal docuhe with warm saline is used to remove slough, crusts and dead maggots
  • Avoid contact of the patient with flies by use of mosquito nets
  • Nasal hygiene for prevention

About the Author

Doctor Medchrome writes for and looks overall management of Medical Online Magazine.

6 Comments on "Nasal Myiasis : Maggots in Nose"

  1. Its a horrible disease to have. Maggots in the nose.

  2. These are just small enough to slip right through the Health Net. I have this same thing happening to me. There are maggots in my sinuses. They have ripped apart the inside of my nose and I cough up maggots several times a day. Every doctor I have seen refuses to entertain the possibility that parasites could be the cause. I brought a live still wriggling maggot to the er and was refused treatment because “there is no such thing and I don’t want to see whatever is in that bag because you have a mental health issue”. Please send this article to the AMA.

    • Hello Maggie, We have received the photos you sent us on this topic. We appreciate your effort and we will soon publish them in Interesting cases section with credits to you. About sending the article to AMA, I thinks its well aware about it although a rare disease.

    • I have the same problem with the medical professionals and had no joy with entomologists I approached thus far. Did you eventually get help and if so what was the outcome. I have suspected I have scalp myiasis myself.

  3. Hi,I am going to introducing a case of maggot,which would be refered to, by one of my colleagues.

    I would be happy taking some photos and show

    here,pre & post treatment.

    • Hello Kevin,
      We’ll be happy to publish your case. Please send it to us at medchrome (at) along with your details.

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