Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Symptoms: Woman's Runny Nose Was Actually Rare Condition

Cerebrospinal Fluid Leak Symptoms: Woman's Runny Nose Was Actually Rare Condition

A Nebraska woman thought her runny nose - which had lasted, nearly nonstop, for years - was actually caused by leaking brain fluid, KETV (Omaha) is reporting. In short, Jackson's brain fluid was leaking through her nose at a rate of approximately a half-pint per day. Jackson told KETV that in 2013, she was involved in a auto accident - she was rear-ended, causing her to slam her head on the dashboard.

"[The running was] like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat", she told local news station KETV.

"I actually don't need to tote around the tissue anymore, and I'm getting some sleep", she told the information channel. "I was like a zombie".

A doctor used a piece of Jackson's tissue to plug the leak, and a week later, she told news station KETV that she had already noticed a big difference in her symptoms. It wasn't until she visited an ear, nose, and throat specialist that she learned the real problem. However, doctors at Nebraska Medicine later discovered the cause of her symptoms were not allergies at all, but instead a cerebrospinal fluid leak.

Kendra Jackson thought she had bad allergies - at least, that's what doctors told her when she complained of a runny nose.

CSF is a clear, watery liquid that functions like a cushion, protecting the brain and spine, according to the US National Library of Medicine (NLM).

"Normally, it is contained within the water-tight confines of the skull, but occasionally an area of disruption can develop between the intracranial cavity and air-filled spaces within the skull".

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Medical experts say that CSF leaks can put patients at an increased risk of infection. "Under these circumstances, CSF can drip from the nose and be mistaken for a runny nose".

If Jackson had received this diagnosis years ago, she would have had to undergo serious brain surgery. (It's not clear exactly what caused Jackson's, though it could be possible that her 2013 vehicle accident played a role.) The fluid can drain out of the nose of the ear, causing symptoms like a runny nose, headaches, vision and hearing changes, and meningitis.

What are the symptoms of CSF leak?

It isn't known for certain what caused the leak, however, the woman reported being in a auto crash a few years before the leak first started.

The condition is rare, but is often not diagnosed correctly.

Jackson will have a few more checkups to monitor the pressure in her head, but expects to make a full recovery.

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