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Runny Nose Turns Out To Be Leaking Brain Fluid
A woman who complained for months about her runny nose was horrified to find out that fluid was leaking from her brain.
Several doctors had reassured Aundrea Aragon from Tucson, Arizona, that the clear liquid was simply caused by allergies.
"I was scared to death and desperate," the 35-year-old mother said. "I knew it could not be allergies. The fluid would come out like a puddle."
The steroids and antibiotics she was prescribed had no effect.
"I was walking around with toilet paper shoved up my nose and changing it every ten minutes," Mrs Aragon recalled.
Surgeons at the University of Arizona eventually noticed two small cracks in the back of her sphenoid sinus, which were caused by cerebral pressure.
While the human body replaces brain fluid, Mrs Aragon was at risk of developing meningitis, according to surgeon Dr Michael Lemole.
"If you are leaking brain fluid out your nose then you have the potential for catastrophic meningitis, the kind where bacteria crawls into your brain and 24 hours later you are essentially in a coma or dead," he explained.
Using an endoscopic procedure, doctors were able to avoid invasive surgery and fix the condition with a minimal recovery period.
They used tissue from her nose and belly to repair the cracks.
Mrs Aragon is now recovering well at home after the operation in October, but she will need to be monitored for the rest of her life in case of another leak.