Man runs brain fluid out of his nose
A cold is harmless - if it is due to a cold. Greg Phillpotts of New York, however, dripped his nose for a much more serious reason: the fluid in his brain ran out of his nostril.
Phillpotts suffered from runny nose and kept stuffing a handkerchief in his nose. But behind the supposed cold, there was a serious health problem.
Constantly new diagnoses
The doctors kept telling him new diagnoses: sometimes it was supposed to be an allergy, then bronchitis, then pneumonia.
It was getting worse and worse
At times, the doctors slowed down the fluid, but overall it got worse and worse and put a psychological strain on the New Yorker: in the kitchen, the schnapps ran into the food and spoiled the evening meal, constantly afflicting those concerned with the fear that it would drip from his nose.
Shortness of breath
Due to the chronic discharge, Greg was unable to breathe properly and could hardly sleep at night due to shortness of breath. That shattered him.
Dr. Iloreta from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York finally found the cause of the mystery. It wasn't a classic cold - Greg didn't get nasal secretions out of his nose, but brain fluid.
This liquid envelops the brain and protects it from vibrations. If it is missing, bacteria can enter, causing meningitis. Brain research is likely to bring further insights into brain secretion in the next few years.
Everything is all right again
After the correct diagnosis, healing was not a problem. The doctors closed the hole through which the liquid oozed, and Greg can enjoy life again.
A quarter of a liter a day
Kendra from Nebraska in the United States had a similar problem to Greg. About a quarter liter of secretions ran out of her nose every day. There were also extreme headaches. She felt like a zombie, the patient reports.
As with Greg, the doctors initially suspected an allergy. It was only after two and a half years that a doctor found that the secretion came from the brain.
How does it come to "runny nose"?
There is a small opening between the brain and the outside world, the olfactory cleft. It is a thin bone. If it tears, brain water emerges and runs through a nostril.
How common is the disorder?
This brain water leakage is extremely rare - only in one in a million people. It is therefore no wonder that the doctors at Greg and Kendra initially made other diagnoses. Greg did not disclose the cause of the opening; Kendra was the result of an accident: her face collided with the dashboard of her car, and her bone was probably cracked.
How do you recognize the fracture of the olfactory bone?
The following symptoms indicate that the brain fluid is leaking:
- Medicines for runny nose do not work.
- You have a severe headache that worsens when you walk upright.
- You suffer from nausea and vomiting.
- The liquid is clear, not greyish, greenish or slimy.
- You have trouble seeing.
- You have a salty taste in your mouth.
(Dr. Utz Anhalt)