Woman's runny nose from 'allergies' was actually brain-fluid leak

OMAHA, Neb. — One woman's runny nose during allergy season turned out to be more than just seasonal discomfort.

Kendra Jackson, of Omaha, Nebraska, had complained about her unusually runny nose for years. She also couldn't stop coughing and sneezing, and her headaches were ongoing.

"Everywhere I went I always had a box of Puffs (tissues), always stuffed in my pocket," she told KETV. "It was like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat."


>> Read more trending news

Jackson's physicians said she was suffering from allergies, but her symptoms persisted and she decided to get a second opinion. It was determined she had a cerebrospinal fluid leak after she was evaluated at Nebraska Medicine.

According to the National Institutes of Health, CSF leaks is a rare but serious condition that needs intervention immediately.

Jackson’s brain fluid was dripping through her nose, and she was losing about a half-pint per day.

Doctors at Nebraska Medicine believed Jackson’s 2013 car accident was the cause of the her injury. She was struck from behind and hit her face on the dashboard. To repair the injury, doctors went in through the nostrils with cameras and used Jackson’s own fatty tissues to patch up the hole.

According to Cedars-Sinai, symptoms of CSF leaks include drainage from the ear, issues with smell and hearing, and fluid that spills into the sinus tract and drains through the skin.

Without the surgery, her CSF leak could have led to serious infections, but she’s now expected to make a full recovery.

“I don’t have to carry around the tissue anymore, and I’m getting some sleep,” Jackson said.