It is not painful, but it might be uncomfortable. Many have compared it to the feeling of water rushing up your nose. The swabbing procedure may result in your eyes watering, sneezing or coughing – this is completely normal! The technician will put a special cotton swab up one nostril and move it around for about 10 seconds. These tests are called nasopharyngeal tests. It is a method for collecting a clinical test sample of nasal secretions from the back of the nose and throat.