A woman’s chronic runny nose turned out to be brain fluid

A woman’s chronic runny nose turned out to be brain fluid

CultureJune 06, 2018 By Jahla Seppanen

With respect to the sneezing, runny noses, and globs of tissue in your pocket right now, have we got a story for you.

For three years, Kendra Jackson of Omaha, Nebraska, had a terrible runny nose. Not a big deal, it’s snot. However headaches, sneezing and coughs often accompanied her runny nose most days, with the drip running down the back of her throat so bad she finally went to see a doctor. She described it as being “like a waterfall,” according to KETV 7 Omaha.

Her doctor said it was plain ol’ allergies. We get it, allergies can feel like death sometimes; but this runny nose was so bad Jackson often couldn’t sleep.

So she went to another doctor, who also said allergies. Another, allergies. Doctor after doctor all agreed. Since according to the Mayo Clinic, a runny nose can be cause by anything that irritates or inflames the nasal tissue, it seems like an easy case.

But. It. Was. Brain. Fluid.

Yep, Jackson eventually went to see experts at Nebraska Medicine who told her it wasn’t boogies and snot, but brain fluid pouring down her nose. More terrifying, she had been leaking about half a pint a day.

If our math is correct, and it probably isn’t, half a pint of brain fluid every day for three years is roughly 547.5 pints lost — the same amount of fluid in about 60 cases of beer.

Diagnosed with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) coming out of her — a clear and colorless fluid found in the brain and spinal cord that fills the space between the arachnoid membrane and the pia mater — it was now time to essentially plug up the leak.

Instead of opening up her skull (which apparently used to be the method), expert Rhinologist Dr. Christie Barnes and her team were able to go through Jackson’s nose and use her fatty tissue to seal the hole between her skull and nose.

What was the cause?

A car accident that occurred in 2013 where Jackson’s head hit the dashboard.

So all you hypochondriacs out there, this allergy season remember to freak out every time your nose starts running, especially if it’s coupled with headhaches, vision changes and hearing loss ... because according to the Internet it's 99.9 percent your brain leaking.  

[cover photo Sambeet via Pixabay]