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"I have a leaky nose. What could it be?"

ZocdocAnswersI have a leaky nose. What could it be?


my nose leaks water. Sometimes a few times a day and then not for weeks but others it will do it almost rvery day for weeks. Started about 2 years ago. Tried allegie meds but didnt work


Thanks for your question. Rhinorrhea, or a runny nose, can have a number of different causes, so it is important to discuss this with your doctor. The most concerning of these has to do with clear, watery, rhinorrhea, and involves the potential connection between your brain and the outside world via your nose. If you have severe headaches, high fever, or changes in your mental status, seek emergent medical assistance, as they could be signs of meningitis. A leak of CSF fluid can taste salty or metallic in the back of your throat, and can leak when you bear down (as during a bowel movement) or bend over. This fluid can also be tested at facilities across the US for beta-2 transferrin, which is unique to brain fluid, and would confirm a brain fluid leak. If collected, it needs to be stored on ice until several mL of fluid can be sent for testing. A history of trauma or some kinds of surgery make the possibility of a brain fluid leak more likely. Obviously, there are other causes or watery rhinorrhea as well. Allergic rhinorrhea is more common, but generally responds well to steroid nasal sprays. Vasomotor rhinitis is another common cause that can be treated. Please speak with your doctor.

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