Nebraska woman suffers from brain fluid leak

Woman's Runny Nose Was Actually Leaking Brain Fluid

When she realized that her issues were more than just a passing cold, she sought medical advice.

A Nebraska woman thought that her relentlessly runny nose was just the annoying outcome of chronic allergies, but it turned out to be leaking brain fluid.

She was diagnosed with a symptom of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which was leaking from her brain.

"Doctor after doctor told Kendra the fluid coming out of her nose was because of allergies".

A leak can develop after suffering a traumatic injury to the head, which causes a tear around the membrane of the spinal cord or brain.

Finally, physicians at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha used camera probes to investigate her nasal duct and sinus cavities.

If your nose won't stop running, it may not be mucous, it could be brain fluid.

For years, Jackson consulted doctors for her sneezing, coughing and constant nose tickle that had begun after she was in a vehicle accident in 2013.

She could connect her chronic headaches with her face hitting on the dashboard but did not know what the reason behind the constant runny nose was. "Always stuffed in my pocket", she said. "Under these circumstances, CSF can drip from the nose and be mistaken for a runny nose".

If the leak had been left untreated, Kendra would have been in danger of developing meningitis, an infection of the brain and spinal fluid that can cause permanent brain damage in less than a day.

'She probably thought I was insane, because I said "I am not going to leave until you figure out what's wrong with me,"' Kendra recalls.

"I can tell a great big difference, oh man a great big difference", said Jackson.

"I don't have to carry around the tissue anymore", Jackson said with a laugh, "and I'm getting some sleep".

"I couldn't sleep, I was like a zombie", Jackson said.

"We go through the nostrils, through the nose", Nebraska Medicine Rhinologist Dr. Christie Barnes said. I'm looking for a positive outcome and [the surgery] was a success as far as I'm concerned, ' she says.

The doctor was able to perform a small surgery up the woman's nose to block the leak. No one ever diagnosed Kendra with a particular allergy, yet she says she has tried 'every over the counter medicine you can take and every medicine you can prescribe'.

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.

"We do kind of a minimally invasive approach, where we go through the nostrils, through the nose.It's very similar to what we use in the OR to fix the leak", Dr. Christie Barnes said. She's expected to make a full recovery.

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