Constant Runny Nose After 2013 Accident
In 2013, she had a car accident during which she hit her face on the dashboard. After the incident, she started having endless runny nose, sleep problems, and painful headaches.
She thought that her chronic headaches have something to do with hitting her head on the dashboard, but this could not explain the runny nose she thought was a cold symptom.
"Everywhere I went I always had a box of Puffs, always stuffed in my pocket," she said. "[It was] like a waterfall, continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat," Jackson said.
It was until she went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha when she finally confirmed what she has long suspected: her runny nose was not from allergies.
The cause of liquid constantly trickling down Jackson's nose turns out to be a symptom of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leaking from her brain.
CSF is the liquid around the brain and the spinal cord. It is made by a group of cells known as choroid plexus that are deep inside the brain. The colorless fluid goes around the brain and the spinal cord cushioning these organs, picking up important supplies from the blood, and eliminating waste products from brain cells.
Risks Of CSF Leak
Doctors informed Jackson that she was losing about 8 ounces of brain fluid a day, which is nearly half of the 17 ounces of CSF that the brain produces per day. If left untreated, this could lead to life threatening infections such as meningitis.
Jackson had a brain surgery a few weeks ago to fix the problem. Doctors used her own fatty tissue to plug the source of the leak: a small hole between her skull and nostrils.
"Kendra had a CSF leak - cerebrospinal fluid from her brain was leaking out of her nose," Nebraska Medicine shared on Facebook. "Rhinologist Dr. Christie Barnes and neurosurgeon Dr. Dan Surdell surgically fixed the potentially dangerous problem a few weeks ago."
After the operation, Jackson said that her head felt clear and she no longer have to carry around tissues with her. She was also able to get good night sleep for the first time in five years since her accident. Doctors said that she is recovering well.