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Doctors thought it was allergies. But 'her brain was leaking out of her nose'

For years, "doctor after doctor" told Kendra Jackson that her continuously running nose was just a bad case of allergies. She eventually went to Nebraska Medicine, where doctors discovered her brain was leaking out of her nose.
For years, "doctor after doctor" told Kendra Jackson that her continuously running nose was just a bad case of allergies. She eventually went to Nebraska Medicine, where doctors discovered her brain was leaking out of her nose. Nebraska Medicine/Facebook

Kendra Jackson has had to keep a box of tissues with her for years due to a runny nose that many doctors had diagnosed as allergies.

Her runny nose was "like a waterfall," Jackson told KETV, an ABC affiliate in Omaha. She said it ran "continuously, and then it would run to the back of my throat."

Jackson' symptoms — coughing, sneezing, and the need to continuously blow her nose — began after she hit her head in a 2013 car accident, NBC affiliate WCMH reported. She also had constant headaches, according to KETV.

"I couldn't sleep, I was like a zombie," she said.

So, Jackson went to see many different doctors — for years.

"Doctor after doctor told Kendra the fluid coming our of her nose was because of allergies," Nebraska Medicine posted to Facebook.

About five years after the car accident, Jackson visited the ears, nose and throat team at Nebraska Medicine.

It was there that she found out she had a cerebrospinal fluid leak.

In other words, fluid from "HER BRAIN WAS LEAKING OUT OF HER NOSE!" Nebraska Medicine posted.

Doctors discovered that Jackson's brain was leaking about a half-pint of fluid each day, according to WCMH. The leak can be caused by head injuries and brain or sinus surgery, according to John Hopkins Medicine. Untreated leaks can lead to life-threatening meningitis, brain injuries or strokes, according to UTSouthwestern Medical Center.

To treat it, Jackson's doctors took some of her own fatty tissue to plug the leak — a small hole between her skull and nostrils, according to KETV.

Christie Barnes, a rhinologist at Nebraska Medicine, helped perform surgery on Jackson a few weeks ago.

"We go through the nostrils, through the nose," Barnes told KETV. "We use angled cameras, angled instruments to get us up to where we need to go."

Jackson had a follow-up appointment with her doctors on Friday.

"I don't have to carry around the tissue anymore," Jackson told KETV, "and I'm getting some sleep."

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