PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas) – A man recently found out that his chronic runny nose – which had sometimes persisted throughout the entire calendar year – was not caused by allergies.

His brain was leaking fluid, and doctors had to perform surgery to fix the problem.

The patient, Joe Nagy, first noticed the issue one morning after waking up, KSAZ-TV reports.

“Brooop! [sic] This clear liquid dribbled out of my nose like tears out of your eyes,” he recalled while talking to the station. “I go, ‘What is this?'”

Nagy noted that the frequency of the runny nose increased with time, from incidents occurring once or twice per week to a nose that was running on a near-constant basis. It began to affect his life in other arenas beyond his health, at one point causing an embarrassing moment while reaching for model airplane blueprints.

“It was about a teaspoon full [of the liquid],” he recalled. “Splashed all over the top sheet … I said, ‘These damn allergies.'”

He added, “I was embarrassed as hell.”

When allergy medication and a constant supply of tissues didn’t help, he turned to experts to find the source of the problem.

And it was then that he found out his problem — leaking brain fluid caused by a tiny hole in his brain.

Nagy recalled about finding out the diagnosis, “I was scared to death if you want to know the truth.”

Neurosurgeon Peter Nakaji of Barrow Neurological Institute told KSAZ that it’s possible for Nagy to have the affliction he did while still being able to live his life.

“These leaks can be very very tiny, a little like a puncture on a bicycle tire, that sometimes you have trouble even finding where it is,” he noted, adding that the brain replenishes its supply by making 12 ounces of brain fluid per day.

Though a case of meningitis delayed the surgery for some time, Nagy ultimately underwent the procedure – a procedure that proved successful in curing his problem, the station learned.

Nakaji said of the surgery Nagy underwent, “Nowadays we do quite a bit of surgery on the brain and base of brain through the nose. We never have to cut up into the brain. We’re getting a needle up into the space to check it out, and then to put a little bit of glue. This is just a bit of cartilage from the nose that we can get to repair over it and then the body will seal it up.”

Added Nagy, “I was waiting for the dribble [after they removed the gauze]. This leaking cause I was so used to it every day. I got my hankie. Nothing. It’s never come back.”


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