Runny Nose? Brain Leak, Doctors Finally Determine

Runny Nose? Brain Leak, Doctors Finally Determine

A woman’s ongoing runny nose turned out to be a brain leak, doctors finally determined years after the symptoms started. 

Kendra Jackson and her doctors thought she had bad allergies, she told KETV 7 in Omaha, Nebraska. She said she couldn’t sleep at night and carried tissues with her everywhere.

After developing frequent headaches, Jackson was finally diagnosed with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, in which the liquid around the brain escapes through a hole or tear in the skull and drains into the ears and nose, Johns Hopkins Medicine said.

Jackson’s doctors told her she had been losing about a half-pint of brain fluid each day from the condition. Surgery successfully repaired.

While doctors aren’t sure why Jackson developed a CSF leak, she did say she had a car accident with head trauma in 2013, and symptoms started a few years after that, KETV 7 reported.

CSF leaks can cause greater risk of infections and even meningitis in some cases. Leaks often repair themselves but sometimes need medical intervention.

Jackson is glad to have resolved the cause of her runny nose and feels like she has her life back.

“I don’t have to carry around the tissue anymore,” Jackson told KETV a few weeks after the operation, “and I’m getting some sleep.”

Those who have clear fluid draining from their nose or ears for an extended period of time and who also have issues with hearing, smell, headaches, or fluid draining through the skin should have their doctor check for a CSF leak, Cedars-Sinai suggested.

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