Published May 07, 2013
PHOENIX – One Arizona man thought he had year-round allergies when his nose continued to run. He was shocked to find out after years of suffering, his runny nose was actually his brain leaking fluid, FOX 10 reported.
Joe Nagy first noticed it when he sat up to get out of bed.
"Brooop! This clear liquid dribbled out of my nose like tears out of your eyes. I go what is this?," he told the TV station.
And, he added, the symptom continued to worsen over time.
Nagy tried allergy medicine, which didn't help. He said he had tissues on-hand all the time.
He still remembers the embarrassing moments when he couldn't get to the tissues in time, like when he was picking up blueprints for his model airplanes.
It was embarrassing, Nagy admitted.
Fed up, Nagy went to a specialist, who tested the fluid that was dripping out of his nose. That's how he discovered it was actually brain fluid.
"I was scared to death if you want to know the truth," he said.
The membrane surrounding Nagy's brain had a hole in it, causing the brain fluid to leak.
"You don't really think about it, but our brains are really just above our noses all of the time," said Dr. Peter Nakaji, a neurosurgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute.
Nagy was ready to have brain surgery to fix the leak, but then he developed a near-deadly case of meningitis and the fluid became infected.
Eventually, Nagy's infection cleared up, and he was able to have the surgery. Nakaji explained to FOX 10 how the surgery is done: A needle is inserted through the nose and a bit of glue patches the hole. There is no cutting involved.
Nagy said he's planning on starting a new hobby: Building a sailboat called the Great Pelican. He's confident it won't leak.